The Prepper Journal http://www.theprepperjournal.com Prepping, Survival and Common Sense Sat, 22 Nov 2014 16:35:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Too Late to Fix Things and Too Early to Fighthttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/22/late-fix-things-early-fight/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/22/late-fix-things-early-fight/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 16:35:07 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=12059 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

As we head into another weekend I am burdened by the same thoughts I have had for years when confronted with the latest political news pouring out of the media. The President has just declared an executive order that will allow for up to 5 million illegal aliens to stay in our country. I won’t […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

As we head into another weekend I am burdened by the same thoughts I have had for years when confronted with the latest political news pouring out of the media. The President has just declared an executive order that will allow for up to 5 million illegal aliens to stay in our country. I won’t debate the legal issues with this proclamation. I won’t argue over the times other presidents have signed executive orders and I won’t blame one side of the political fence any more than another.

What I will say is that our country is doomed and this is just one more nail in the coffin. If you think I am completely wrong about that, you might as well stop reading right now. I say this is another nail because this single event isn’t what has driven our country to the edge of disaster. I won’t say the Democrats have ruined us because Republicans are just as much to blame for the problems with our society, but it is our nation that is in a free-fall regardless of who steered the ship. The time for blame is over as I believe getting all worked up in an argument over who caused this mess at this point is futile. In the words of Hillary Clinton, “What difference does it make?”. America is like a speeding locomotive that is on fire and someone has greased the tracks. Ahead in the distance; the bridge over the chasm is out and there is nothing we can do to stop it. We are going over the cliff.

Yes, I admit that sounds gloomy and defeatist. It sounds like I have given up, thrown in the towel and let someone beat all of us who aspire to freedom, self-responsibility, a limited government, privacy and common sense, in the arena of political ideas. You may be right, but that isn’t exactly how I look at it. On the other hand you may say that with all my talk of prepping, this admission proves that I am just waiting for the world to burn down so that I can have my moment of glory. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

‘What we need right now is to get out the vote’! you say or ‘we have to take back our local representatives’. Neither of those will matter and you will soon see that even though we have the ‘other side’ in power now the path this country is on will not alter. The speed of her demise will not slow, but only the people who are blamed will change.

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” – Benjamin Franklin

Economic Collapse

Todd Sepulveda who runs Prepperwebsite.com and also Ed that Matters, recently conducted a poll via Facebook where he posed several questions to preppers. You can read the results at his site which are both fascinating and not surprising to me. One of his questions was “What EMERGENCY is your biggest concern?” and the winner by a large margin was Economic Collapse.

I say the results were not surprising and fascinating at the same time because on one hand these are concerns that have been shouted from the mountain tops by hundreds of economists, investors, business men and women from all nations and even us lowly preppers for years. The fascinating part is that the people who are in power, who actually control the monetary purse strings say the exact opposite and unless you are listening to the prophets of doom, or prepper websites like ours and hundreds of others you won’t hear that message. It matters not what the people who governments are supposed to represent want, the experts in charge in almost every case make decisions to the contrary.

You don’t want to go into Quadrillions in debt to give money for foreign banks? Tough crap! You don’t want us to raise your taxes to pay for programs you voted down? Racist! We know better than you. If you overwhelmingly oppose allowing millions of illegals to come into this country when we are already too far in debt to ever pay it and do not even have a strong enough economy to support the citizens here who want a job? Who gives a rip? We are going to do it anyway.

When the people in charge politically, stop listening to their constituents; you no longer have, and one could argue it has been this way for 20 years the Republic that our nation was founded as. We are powerless to the people we put in authority. Powerless to even remove them from office at this point in enough numbers that matter.

Ferguson Riots and Class/Race politics

And the next big event will be riots in Ferguson. I say this without even knowing what the verdict will be because there have been so many plans put in place to make this happen. I know that even if the verdict would be that the officer who shot Michael Brown were to be publicly executed, there would still be riots because that is what our society does. Win a sports championship, riot. Want to buy a TV on black Friday and they are all sold out, riot. Don’t like what happened to someone, riot.

Rioting does nothing more than destroy property and it is almost always never the property of the people who the rioters are supposedly upset with. Rioting as we have seen in the US anyway is pointless and frequently driven not by righteous anger, but by forces outside who have an agenda to see violence and mayhem rule. You have FBI agents who have been caught posing as rioters, infiltrating the riots not to calm people down, but to inflame the crowd and spur violence.

Ready to kill if needed the people they are supposed to protect.

Ready to kill if needed the people they are supposed to protect.

The Occupy Wall Street protests and pretty much any protest in modern times quickly devolves into violence once the masked, hoodie wearing thugs show up and start breaking things. Does this get the point of the protest across? Nope, it just destroys property and quickens an escalation by the authorities. I don’t believe for a second that all of this is organic and in Ferguson you already have reports of outside groups hoping to capitalize on the event. Do they have the interests of Michal Brown’s family in mind or are they simply seeking another opportunity for anarchy.

All of this type of behavior stems from a society that values nothing but chaos and thinks only of themselves. Our nation wasn’t founded on lawless behavior, but the people in our society at all levels have excused it for so long that it has become normal. I believe that one aspect of this is so that government can rationalize the need for a heavier military style presence to protect the public. This will invariably lead to martial law for everyone to keep the peace. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself why there are already reports of high numbers of DHS vehicles pre-staged in Ferguson. That’s to keep everyone safe you say? Really. If it was to keep people safe, why did the person reporting them get fired? Why wouldn’t the DHS want it to be public that their efforts were to keep everyone safe.

No, I believe that this is yet another large scale exercise that is being used to practice martial law, detainment techniques and crowd control. What better place to test this out than a town on the verge of riots. And if that is the plan, you have to take that to its logical conclusion. If forces are practicing this now, there must be thoughts of needing this in the future. There is no putting the genie back in the jar

What can you do?

You may be asking yourself why I am taking just these two seemingly unrelated items and using them as examples of our world going to hell in a hand basket. The economy has nothing to do with Ferguson and police forces should keep us safe, so how is any of this proof that our society is doing anything?

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No American could go to Mexico and demand citizenship, free education, the right to vote, own property, or free healthcare. You would be arrested.

Yes, I could be making a case out of nothing. Actually, if I were to write everything down that was cause for concern I would have a list longer than this article already but there is no way to connect it all together in a way that you could take before a judge and prove anything. All of the events can be pushed aside as insignificant and unrelated by anyone, but like the survey Todd Sepulveda took, many people don’t need to be told we have a problem. Many people don’t need proof of impending doom, they know it in their bones.

Prepping has not become so popular in recent years due to natural events. There haven’t been an increase in Hurricanes or any other normal weather phenomenon, but yet millions of people have begun to sense that something is wrong. You can take items like our economy, riots, bank closures, elections, supreme court rulings and all of that and argue away any of them as showing a trend that points to a bleak future. What you can’t do is remove that doubt from the minds of the people who are living in these times.

No matter what the wizards of smart say, preppers have enough evidence that society isn’t going along just fine. We know that the way we are living is unsustainable in a lot of measures. We don’t need anyone to tell us to prepare, instinctively we know we need to and that is what drives people to websites like this.

You are prepping for your own reasons. Maybe it is because you worry about an economic collapse. Perhaps you worry about riots in your town and the disruption that comes with them. Maybe it is something else completely but no matter what the reason you are prepping because you know that you will need to rely on yourself in the future. This isn’t because the government is telling you to. You do this because you can feel the urgency yourself.

I would urge you to listen to that voice.

It has been said that it is never too late to prepare, but that also goes against common sense. If you wait until the disaster is at your door, it is too late. If you wait until your children are starving it is too late. If you wait until the economy collapses, nobody has a job and people are rioting in the streets it could be too late.

I personally don’t believe that a political solution to our nation’s problems is possible at this point. There are too many people beholden to too many special interests that have too much money. I will still vote for the candidates I believe in, but I am not going to simply vote for a party because I believe they will do anything different than another party.

I am also not going to go riot or protest my government because that is the same as voting in terms of futility. We are at an odd place in history I believe where unfortunately we have to let the music play out and see what happens. I don’t believe we can fix anything now, but you can prepare. I also don’t believe that we need violent revolution. At least not at this time although I do believe that is in our potential future. It is the path we seem to be on and none of the traditional methods of averting this have worked. This could ultimately be our own fault but regardless, things need to change. The time isn’t now, but I do think it is inevitable.

Thomas Jefferson said: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. I sadly agree with that statement. I say sadly because I am not foolish enough to believe that measures such as this aren’t without huge costs. Patriots would be more impacted than tyrants I believe, but our liberty is dying and at some point we will need to take care of it.

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Survival Gear: Tools to Get You through Any Crisishttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/20/survival-gear-tools-get-crisis/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/20/survival-gear-tools-get-crisis/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:42:24 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=12038 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Bug Out Essentials to help you survive during and after any disaster If I only had a … Have you ever caught yourself saying that? I don’t mean when you are sitting in the living room watching a football game and the commercials for the Big Screen TV sale coming up on Black Friday start […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Bug Out Essentials to help you survive during and after any disaster

If I only had a … Have you ever caught yourself saying that? I don’t mean when you are sitting in the living room watching a football game and the commercials for the Big Screen TV sale coming up on Black Friday start to play non-stop. No, I mean when you are out away from home or in a situation where you can’t just walk down to the basement or out to the shed to grab that special tool that you need. When you are out hiking in the woods and it starts to rain and you remember you didn’t bring any rain gear. Or when you are in the parking lot late at night staring at a dashboard that should be lit up but isn’t because your car won’t start and you don’t have any jumper cables. Those moments suck and if I find myself in a place like that I start mentally kicking myself in the rear.

Raindrops won’t normally kill you and even though you are soaking wet, you usually make it back to the car. A lot of people have jumper cables if you are in a safe area or have access to a cell phone you are usually fine, but what if the ‘If I only had a’ moment happens when you are completely alone? What if you forget something that could very well save your life and nobody is going to come if you call? Instead of TVs this season, have you thought of giving yourself a little something? How about the gift of survival?

I know, I know. What am I talking about?

I think about situations I could find myself in and what I could use to survive all the time. I guess it is an occupational hazard of someone who calls themselves a Prepper. For instance, I have another long car trip planned next month to visit family that will require us to be on the road for two days. On a normal trip that long you could expect all manner of surprise inconveniences to pop up. On a two-day trip during December you have to throw Mother Nature in there as well so my thoughts have already turned to what I need to pack to ensure that my family and the survival dog are prepared for any situation that occurs while we are over 1000 miles away from home. The same home that has all of my supplies that have been carefully considered, acquired and assembled for ‘anything that happens’.

There are hundreds of things to think about when I start planning what to pack for that trip, but it made me consider basic bug out gear that anyone should have on them whenever they are more than a few hours walk from their home base. This is the survival gear you will need in a crisis situation and a lot of this gear should be considered for your But Out Bag if you plan to maximize your chances of survival.

Survival Fuel

No, I am not talking about fuel that has been treated for your generator or car – I am talking about fuel for your body. The number one priority for any human outside of the extremes of hot and cold are water and food. If you don’t have those two bases covered, you die. Granted, you can go a fairly long time without food, but do you want to when this is so relatively easy to avoid? Hunger causes all sorts of issues with mental clarity but it also weakens you. You need fuel in your tank to power your survival engine, so ensuring you always have some emergency food isn’t just a good idea, it is vitally important.

Don't forget to plan for food. This doesn't have to be gourmet, it just has to keep you alive.

Don’t forget to plan for food. This doesn’t have to be gourmet, it just has to keep you alive.

There are a lot of options out there for emergency food, but we are talking about survival here so at its most basic you need calories. This can be achieved with energy bars, MREs, emergency rations or regular food. The food you choose should be appropriate to where you are going to store it and how you will eat it. For example, If you are stocking your winter car survival kit in anticipation of being stranded you probably wouldn’t want to pack a couple cans of peaches. This might be great for your pantry back home, but emergency food in this situation would ideally be something that you didn’t have to cook, provided a load of calories and could be prepared without any tools. Sure you can open a can without a can opener, but if you are stranded in the winter would you want to do that?

When you consider a bug out bag, Freeze dried food is an excellent option provided you have the extra capacity to heat water. In the car survival example unless you brought along a stove and water to boil, that freeze dried food wouldn’t be worth eating. According to the situation you are planning for, ensure that you have prepared food and water for everyone with you.

 

Survival Tools

Knowledge and the will to survive are probably the most important considerations that impact whether or not someone will make it through a crisis, but tools are very important too. I know some purists out there talk about only needing a good knife and while I agree that a sharp sturdy survival knife is probably the most important survival tool, there are others you should have in your bag that meet other needs. Ideally each item you are lugging around with you has multiple uses.

A flashlight is often overlooked as a survival item. Until you need one...

A flashlight is often overlooked as a survival item. Until you need one…

I just wrote a post about an entrenching tool or E-tool in your bug out bag and while I personally don’t carry one, a lot of other preppers do and use them for digging, chopping tasks and even defensive weapons. Machetes offer some similar capabilities in the defensive department as well as being useful for cutting and chopping your way through brush. Multi-tools bring tremendous variety to your abilities that you are carrying and can perform a surprising variety of functions.

Light is often overlooked but having a good flashlight or my personal favorite, a headlamp could help you navigate when without light you would be powerless to move quickly in the dark. No, your smartphone is not a good substitute for a flashlight.

Survival Shelter

When I mentioned food and water above, the only thing that could kill you quicker is really exposure. You can die from extreme cold or heat faster than from being without water, so a plan for shelter can’t be ignored either.

In a bug out situation, the main considerations are something to keep the elements off you and this can be accomplished usually with a tent or even a tarp. Tarps are light, inexpensive and work in a million ways as long as you have something to tie it off to. You could also use a military rain poncho which goes back to the double use aspect. In addition tarps and rain ponchos  are quickly set up and taken down. Have you tried repacking a backpacking tent? It isn’t the hardest thing in the world, but you don’t want to take off down the trail only to discover you left your pole bag back at the last spot.

Tarps are great shelter options that are lightweight and easy to put up/take down.

Tarps are great shelter options that are lightweight and easy to put up/take down.

Tarps will protect you from sun and rain but the aren’t the best at keeping you warm. For that a survival bivvy sack is one option that is very light and takes up almost no room. The downside is that these aren’t meant to last a long time and in some cases, a sleeping bag would be a better option. Find out which one is better for your environment, circumstances and adjust accordingly. You don’t want to die from hypothermia.

Other essentials

There are so many other things we could add into a complete bug out bag checklist, but without laying out the whole plan, which you can read more about on our site, here are some other important considerations.

  • Fire – Bic lighters are cheap and easy ways to create a fire. There is no excuse not to have a couple of ways to start a fire.
  • First aid – I am not referring to Band aid kits either. Small cuts and scrapes aren’t something you would normally need to worry about, but major blood loss is. Have a basic first aid kit and augment it with blood stoppers or something like Quick Clot and antibiotic cream.
  • Duct tape – Is there anything you can’t do with duct tape?
  • Paracord – Cordage or rope solves a lot of survival problems like stringing up that survival tent to holding your water bottle over the fire to boil water you obtained from questionable sources.
  • Water Bottle – And speaking of water, you need a way to carry it. Invest is a sturdy water bottle and keep that with you all the time. I used to have a plastic BPA free Nalgene, but I moved up to a stainless steel Nalgene bottle just so that I could put it over a fire if needed. Yes, it is more expensive.

Survival Test of your gear

Now you have the gear, you need to make sure it works and more importantly that you know how to use it. You can’t just buy all of this stuff and shove it in a box in the closet. Make these tools part of your life by adding where appropriate to your Every Day Carry. This might not be a smart idea for a machete, but you would be surprised how often some of the other items will come in handy. You don’t want to be that person caught in a survival situation saying, “If I only had a…”

What gear do you have? What would you add to this list?

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Should an E-Tool Be In Your Bug Out Bag?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/18/e-tool-bug-bag/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/18/e-tool-bug-bag/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 19:20:29 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=12014 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

As a Prepper, I am constantly looking to see how my gear can support me in various situations and whether what I have should be rethought or improved upon in some way. Over the years this process of evaluating and reevaluating options has taught me lessons about what works and what doesn’t for me at […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

As a Prepper, I am constantly looking to see how my gear can support me in various situations and whether what I have should be rethought or improved upon in some way. Over the years this process of evaluating and reevaluating options has taught me lessons about what works and what doesn’t for me at least personally. My Bug Out Bag has been the main source of churn for lack of a better word in my prepping efforts as I tried various items on backpacking trips. When you haul the gear you think will save your life around for a few days in the woods you learn a lot.

It is similar for my Get Home Bag that goes in my car with me. Like most people I assume, this bag gets used from time to time to supplement normal every day “stuff” that happens and you can count on using some of the items in this bag in ways that you might not have strictly planned, but you are happy to have the resources at your disposal. For example, I have used the food in my get home bag before to stave off one of my kids hunger, lighters have been used to start fires for making s’mores, multi-tools have come to the rescue and my gloves have been broken out to deal with weekend projects around the church. Using the stuff in your bags is a great way to practice with what you have and see if you are really considering the right things with your gear as long as used supplies get replenished.

What is an E-Tool?

One of the tools that I am familiar with from my Army days is the good old E-Tool or entrenching tool as it is properly called. For those who don’t know, an E-Tool is a small shovel that soldiers carry in their packs along with in some cases a heck of a lot of other gear. The modern soldier carries everything on their back into battle that they could possibly need even though in most cases, logistical lines of supply are always present to support soldiers. The days of soldiers roaming for months on their own in the woods or dessert are long gone (for most soldiers) but the E-Tool still has a place in our military to this day and some preppers advocate packing these shovels in your 72 hour bags.

What can you use an E-Tool for?

An E-tool does have a lot of uses not just for soldiers, but preppers too. For the military, these are primarily used to dig holes. Surprise? Digging holes for fox holes, taking dirt out of one hole and putting it into another hole but so much more. You can use E-Tools as weapons provided they are sturdy enough. Some entrenching tools on the market today barely fit the role of shovel, much less skull crusher, but others are very tough and their thick edges can whack a chunk out of someone’s noggin if you are prepared to do that.

Glock Entrenching Tool with Saw and Pouch

Glock Entrenching Tool with Saw and Pouch

You can saw with some of these tools. For instance the Glock E-tool even comes with a steel saw attachment for cutting limbs (tree limbs that is) or chopping wood for a fire. You can use it as a pry bar or machete and again for digging holes. Like when you need to use the latrine (which is a hole you dig) and covering up what you leave there which is doubly important because you will cut down on disease carrying insects if you bury your waste and prevent all but the best trackers from finding you if you are on the run. Hey, it can happen and even if you aren’t worried about someone finding your #2, sanitation is important in survival.

Other e-tools like the Crovel which was actually highlighted on an episode of Doomsday Preppers (like a lot of other prepper business ventures) boasts additional features like a hollow handle that allows for the storage of key survival items (not included).

Is it worth it?

While I can appreciate the value of this tool and can’t knock the abilities you would have with a shovel in your pack; I don’t personally have one in my Bug Out Bag. I do recommend one for my winter car survival kit so I guess you could say I am carrying one, but I don’t pack them in by Bug Out or 72 Hour bag. Why? For me it comes down to philosophy on what that bag is designed to do. Some people come at Bug Out Bags from the standpoint of questioning what items could you possibly need in 72 hours to make your life better. Ridiculous toiletry items come to mind along with books and unnecessary creature comforts.

An e-tool isn’t a creature comfort but it is one of those tools that I can’t see me using. Could I dig a great big hole with it? Of course and I could also use it to whack limbs and open bottles and store my waterproof matches, but I also have to consider weight. Each item adds to the overall load you are carrying and pound for pound, I can’t see me using a shovel.

It could come down to what you have and where you plan on bugging out. Maybe you are planning to hike into the woods, set up a defensive firing position and wait in ambush for your attackers while you are drinking Sam Adams and applying plenty of moisturizer to your hands. I don’t know, but I can’t see me digging big holes. If I need to chop branches I have my main survival knife. If I need to crack skulls I would rather do that from a high-caliber distance if you know what I mean. This is just my opinion.

So, what do you say? Is an E-tool a must-have item in your pack?

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What’s In Your Nightstand?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/17/whats-in-your-nightstand/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/17/whats-in-your-nightstand/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 16:26:33 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=12002 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

It is the sound that almost everyone fears at some point. ‘That noise’ you hear while you are in bed that doesn’t sound right. I don’t know how many times I have been in bed with my wife and we will hear something and she will say ‘What was that’? Already, my ears are perked […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

It is the sound that almost everyone fears at some point. ‘That noise’ you hear while you are in bed that doesn’t sound right. I don’t know how many times I have been in bed with my wife and we will hear something and she will say ‘What was that’? Already, my ears are perked up and I am trying to figure out mentally what that sound was. In some cases it is perfectly normal like my daughter dropping what sounds like a 50 pound brick on the floor upstairs. Other times it may be outside or isn’t something I can explain so I get out of bed to investigate. It is times like this that I want to have items within arm’s reach that I may need should that bump in the night be more sinister than my daughter.

You aren’t much more vulnerable than when you are sleeping at night. Usually, we aren’t in clothes that would provide any reasonable protection. We don’t have shoes or socks on and if you are woken from sleep, you could be groggy and disoriented. Going from being warm and comfy under the covers to ready to defend your life doesn’t happen immediately, but the sooner you can be prepared to address a threat, the better off your chances of survival will be.

There was a time after the death of our last dog and before we got the latest survival dog that we couldn’t depend on a canine friend to warn us of danger, or to investigate strange noises. If something was wrong I would spring from bed and do my best job of investigating any noise and clearing rooms to ensure I hadn’t missed someone. Now, I would do the same but I would be sending my dog ahead of me because her senses would be far superior to any human at finding any trouble quickly and potentially starting to deal with the threat.

Even with a dog there are items in my nightstand that are ready for me to grab in seconds if a situation like this happens.

Gun – Assuming you aren’t anti-gun or they aren’t illegal where you live a gun is my first priority when it comes to home defense. Why not something like a baseball bat? Because a bad guy might have a gun and I would rather stare down a criminal who is bold enough to enter my house while I am sleeping with a gun that try to assume I can crack him on the skull and not get shot. In my case, the gun of choice is a 1911 .45.

Flashlight – There are some downsides to having a flashlight from the sense of showing the bad guy where you are, but the benefits of being able to see what you are shooting at far outweigh any downsides. For the obvious reasons of being able to see where you are going and what is the source of the noise a flashlight is extremely valuable. Add to that proper identification of the threat and you should agree that having a flashlight could save a life too. If you think someone is in your home and you have a gun in your hand you should be able to see accurately what you are aiming that gun at before you pull the trigger.

Phone – You may need to call 911 from your bedroom and if you are somehow trapped in your room you want a way to call out.

Knife – Why have a knife if you have a gun? For me, I have my knife on my nightstand anyway simply because it is part of my EDC gear that I have to wear daily. The knife is a worst case backup. What if the bad guy breaks down your door before you can grab the gun, or the gun jams? Not my ideal choice, but it is redundant gear that I have anyway.

Glasses – If you need glasses or if you sleep with your contacts out, you need something to help you see as quickly as possible. This is probably a no-brainer for anyone who does have vision issues but I know some people by routine leave these in the bathroom.

Shoes – Ideally something that you could slip on fast and I am not talking about slippers.  If you have some violent altercation you would be better equipped if you had sturdy shoes on or at least something that would give you traction and could protect your feet. What if there was a broken window and you needed to move through the area with broken glass? You would ideally not have to worry about what you stepped on as you moved through the home and you wouldn’t want to slip and bust your ass on the stairs either.

So there are 6 items you can keep in your nightstand or directly next to your bed in the event you need to spring into action to investigate something in your home. I left off the other basics of a notepad to write down ideas…. or a glass of water. What are your ideas for what to keep in your nightstand?

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10 Prepping Mistakes That Could Kill You (and how to avoid them)http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/14/10-prepping-mistakes-that-could-kill-you-and-how-to-avoid/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/14/10-prepping-mistakes-that-could-kill-you-and-how-to-avoid/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:00:55 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11964 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Everyone makes mistakes, but when it comes to Prepping, all of our efforts are directed toward actions that are designed to either keep us safer, prolong our lives or stave off some disaster that could be prevented with a little foresight and planning. When it comes to survival, mistakes can kill you and that is […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Everyone makes mistakes, but when it comes to Prepping, all of our efforts are directed toward actions that are designed to either keep us safer, prolong our lives or stave off some disaster that could be prevented with a little foresight and planning. When it comes to survival, mistakes can kill you and that is the last thing we want to happen isn’t it?

In this article I wanted to discuss some common prepping mistakes that I have seen over the years and ideas I have that I believe will help the person new to prepping avoid them. I do this with the hopes that others will realize how some of these actions can put you at a distinct disadvantage in your prepping efforts in the best case, but could result in death in others.

Preparing for a single event

All too often we come to the world of prepping due to outside stimulus. Something triggers either an awareness or sense of need in us that drives us to learn more about being prepared. For a lot of people out there, Y2K was just this type of event and before the clock struck midnight on December 31st 1999 millions of dollars had been spent on survival gear and preparedness items to plan for the disaster that was supposed to happen. As you all know by now, nothing happened at midnight; planes didn’t fall from the sky and our country wasn’t sent back to the Stone Age.

When this happened a lot of people became disillusioned with prepping. They looked at the money they had spent on supplies and felt foolish for believing the hype about the approaching doomsday scenario. As a result, they sold all of their gear on Ebay and a lot of people were able to buy unwanted survival supplies for very cheap.

Preparedness shouldn’t be for a single event. You should prepare for any event that could put you or your family in danger. There are common prepping basics you should follow and while they might be motivated by a single event like the threat of Ebola, you shouldn’t believe that if Ebola never happens that all of your preparations are worthless. Think of all the people who sold their freeze-dried food, survival weapons and gear. If we had another disaster after they sold their supplies, they would have been back at square one and just as desperate as someone who didn’t prepare at all.

Preparing for a specific date

Similar to people who planned for Y2K, there were those who feared the Mayan Calendar ending at the end of 2012. They did the same thing when nothing happened and the world kept on spinning. The danger of prepping for a specific threat that is date-based is believing that nothing else in the world could happen to you. Natural disasters in the form of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, winter storms happen every year and any supplies you store should keep you alive regardless of the disaster. Don’t believe that if the world doesn’t end, you will never see any disruption causing event in your life.

Even people as far south as Atlanta were caught unprepared last year as a relatively minor winter storm stranded thousands of motorists on the side of the road. Now, I will grant you that this isn’t as ominous as the end of the world as we know it, but wouldn’t you rather have supplies in your car if you were stranded due to a winter storm that caught you by surprise? Most disasters don’t keep appointments so you never know when they will strike. It is better to be prepared all of the time instead of when the calendar says a disaster is supposed to happen.

Bragging about your prepping supplies

I advocate that everyone should practice OPSEC as much as possible to avoid the problem of having hordes or your friends and neighbors appear on your doorstep in the event of a disaster. When you tell everyone that you have food stored up, weapons and ammo and all the supplies you would need to last for years if the grid goes down, you are inviting trouble.

In desperate times, people who have nowhere to turn will act out of desperation. Your friends who didn’t prepare will view your food supplies as necessary to keeping their children alive. By your actions of bragging about what you have, you now have a potential threat to your life and the lives of your family in someone who knows that you have food and who knows their children will die without it. Keep your preparations secret unless you want to share with the world. In that case, expect your food, supplies and anything you have to be taken from you in a worst case scenario.

If you think you can just show up at a prepper's home and spit in his face, you might be in for a surprise.

If you think you can just show up at a prepper’s home and spit in his face, you might be in for a surprise.

Planning on being a criminal

There is a sub-culture of people in the world who are not preppers in the true sense of the word. They are predators, but they hang around in the circles of survival and preparedness websites. They share some common traits with preppers in that they see the possibility of a SHTF event in their future, but instead of planning ahead, storing food and supplies and trying to become self-sufficient, they plan to take what others have. If this is you, I want to let you know you are making a huge prepping mistake.

Those who ascribe to the theory that when we reach some TEOTWAWKI event, they will just grab their guns and take whatever they need to survive, will be in for a rude awakening. Just as they have prepared to take by force, preppers are preparing to defend with force. In that scenario someone is going to die. My money is on the prepper who is defending his family. Sure, you may get away with some violence, but it will catch up to you. My advice is to forget this idea and start taking steps to prepare your family with supplies you acquire. It will make you appreciate what you have more and could keep you from getting shot in the face as you try to steal from someone else.

Buying a fortune in food you hate

I will admit that the easiest (but not cheapest) way to stock up on food that will last a long time is to purchase a pallet of freeze-dried food. Throw this in your basement and you will be prepared to last a long time without the benefit of your local grocery store but what if your family hates the freeze-dried food you have? What if they have allergies to the ingredients? What if you bought from a supplier who wasn’t really reputable and instead of lasting 25 years that stored food went bad without you knowing it?

Food Storage seems like a complicated thing, but it isn’t. Start by stocking more of what your family already eats. You can augment that with some freeze-dried foods, but make sure you test this with your family first to get their take on what they will be forced to eat possibly to survive. Try several manufacturers; try alternate forms of long-term storable food like MREs, but more importantly plan for providing your own fresh food. Vegetable Gardens and small livestock are much better than a pallet of food in the basement.

Thinking you will be able to defend your home against all invaders

We simply don’t live in defend-able structures anymore unless you have built a custom compound on hundreds of acres in the wilderness. Most of us live near cities even if our suburban lives allow us to see more trees between ourselves and our neighbors than our city cousins. If a collapse happens and violence breaks out, you will not be able to defend your home against an overwhelming determined force. You may survive if you are able to band together and create a neighborhood defense plan with your fellow neighbors. This may work or it may be impossible depending on the circumstances and you could end up needing to leave.

Have a plan to bug out if that becomes necessary. My own personal plan is to shelter in place for as long as feasible but if the situation dictates that my neighborhood is no longer safe, my family will be heading out. Make sure you have a plan B.

Believing that a gun is all you need

I believe that every law abiding citizen can use a firearm as long as they are trained to defend themselves in certain situations. However, just because you have a gun that doesn’t mean you are going to shoot your way out of a firefight like a Navy Seal. Guns are tools but they require a lot of skill to be used effectively in highly stressful situations. You might think that if you have a gun, that is all you need to defend your family but it isn’t that simple.

Take the time to practice with your firearms often. Beyond going to the range and killing paper zombies, sign up for classes that put you in different scenarios with stress that is similar to what you will experience in a real life or death situation. At bare minimum look at this firearm as a tool that is only capable of what you are capable of doing. If you can’t handle it properly under pressure it could end up getting you killed instead of saving your life.

Prepping in isolation

There are a lot of preppers who “wake up” for lack of a better term to the world around them and begin well in advance of any of their loved ones to feel a sense of urgency. In some cases, this can lead to frustration and even outright animosity towards the notion of prepping from spouses or family. A common question then becomes how can I get my spouse on board with prepping. If a prepper isn’t succeeding on one front they may try to hide their prepping and that usually doesn’t bode well.

Prepping is most effective when you have a team of people moving toward a common goal. Prepping should be a family affair if possible so that if nothing else, everyone in your family knows what you are trying to do and why this is important to them. Naturally if you have small children you have some limitations, but if you go it alone without getting your family on board, they might not be prepared to act in a crisis. Without a plan and direction, this could get some people killed.

At some point you have to stop making lists and act.

At some point you have to stop making lists and act.

Analysis Paralysis

Some people like lists. My wife is a huge fan of lists and draws them up on a daily basis for what she needs to do each hour of the day. When you start prepping, one of the things that I recommend after you think about what you are prepping for and who you are prepping for is to make lists of items you feel would make you more prepared. This can get into a world of side issues and specific areas of expertise as you research and investigate. I have seen people with multiple tabbed spreadsheets with items they want to purchase with comparisons between vendors and prices online. The net effect is that some people research for years before they ever do anything and it doesn’t matter if you have the most thorough and complete plan on paper; if disaster strikes you have to roll with what you have and what you know.

Take basic steps now to cover the biggest bases of preparedness. Get a month worth of food and water taken care of before you develop your 5-year plan. If you don’t have the money for the perfect survival arsenal, get a fairly cheap shotgun and learn how to use it. If the world has gone to hell, something will be better than nothing.

Thinking you can save the world by yourself

This might be the hardest to reconcile for my Christian readers because we are called to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. This phrase from the bible is most often associated with charity and whole reams of paper have been expended on how we can plan for charity in our prepping supplies. I believe that there is a place for charity and I will plan on taking care of those who are in need. To a point.

My primary goal in prepping is to provide safety and security for my family. After that has been accomplished, I will do what I can to offer assistance to those who need it. I won’t be opening my doors to everyone and I won’t sacrifice my family’s safety or security for everyone who has a need. I will have to reconcile my actions when the time is right, but I do anticipate turning some away. I think if you go into thinking about a world in chaos and expect everything to be sunshine and lollipops, you could be in for a rude awakening. Charity will be dispensed with the utmost of discretion and it is my goal to make sure that as much as possible nobody knows the charity I am dispensing. If you want to feed someone try to arrange to deliver food or supplies to a third-party like a community center or church anonymously.  This will keep my family safe and it could protect yours as well.

Those are my 10 prepping mistakes and this article ended up being longer than I expected. If you hung in till the end I would like to hear your thoughts below. Stay safe, and keep Prepping.

 

 

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Food Storage Lies, Myths and Tipshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/13/food-storage-lies-myths-tips/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/13/food-storage-lies-myths-tips/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:00:45 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11951 Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

This guest post was generously contributed by James Tolboe. When most people think of long term food storage, pantries filled with canned goods is what often comes to mind. However, we have to be very careful with what we store and buy. Things are not always what they seem when it comes to food storage […]

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

This guest post was generously contributed by James Tolboe.

When most people think of long term food storage, pantries filled with canned goods is what often comes to mind. However, we have to be very careful with what we store and buy. Things are not always what they seem when it comes to food storage many products claim to be made with the famed 25 year shelf life, but start to read the label and you will find ingredients that will not last more than 2-3 years. This article will teach you what to look for.

When looking at long term food storage, you must first look at the ingredients. Can you pronounce every ingredient? Do you see words like hydrogenated, hydrolyzed, or Mono-sodium Glutamate (MSG)? These words, along with many others indicate artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives that can be very harmful to your body, not to mention unstable.

Read the label

If you have bought food go grab it and lets look at the label. If you see things like cake flour it only has a shelf life of 8 months to a year. Keep looking, do you see soy bean oil, canola oil, hydrogenated oils or hydrolyzed syrup? Those all have a shelf life of only a year or two, yet they are being sold as 25 year food storage! Don’t forget to also look for things like whole eggs or dairy as well. These ingredients simply can not last as long as these food storage companies claim and you need to be aware.

To be shelf stable, there also has to be the minimum of water content in the food. The FDA suggests that dehydrated food, using any form of dehydration, must have a water content less than 7%. The problem most companies find with following this mandate is simply cost. Making sure the food actually gets under 7% of water content requires extra time, effort and power, creating a path for shortcuts to be taken which most companies do.

When shortcuts are taken, added preservatives have to be used. By putting in the hydrogenated oils, food storage manufacturers can extend the shelf life of lower quality oils such as vegetable, soy, and safflower oils.  These oils have a natural shelf life of 18 months under preferable conditions. When chemicals and artificial preservatives are introduced, they can store for several years, but they have been altered to an unhealthy form to accomplish it.

When purchasing your food, make sure you do your homework and read the label. It may literally save your life.

Finding a manufacturer that believes in using natural, shelf stable ingredients means that they don’t have to use the artificial chemicals to preserve their long term food storage. The food is just as flavorful, healthy, and nutritious as when it was originally sourced. When you are looking for good ingredients, look for real food products that have been freeze dried and prepared to last. For example things like tomato or onion powder chopped or grated vegetables. Also look for whole foods like whole beans in the food, products that contain these types of ingredients will be sure to provide you the nutrition your body will need, when you need it.

Is your food protected?

Another thing to look for is packaging, this isn’t always the easiest thing to see because many products now come in the large white buckets. While the buckets look good they are not what actually is protecting the food from the elements. When you open up the bucket you will notice that the food is individually packaged in plastic or Mylar type bags. This is crucial to long term food storage because if your packaging fails your food will spoil long before its shelf date. A few things I like to look for is the quality of the bag itself. Is it flimsy and folds easily? That’s a bad sign, look for solid, quality bags at least 5.4 mm think so it will stand the test of time. I also really like the resealable option so you can one use a little at a time and still seal off your food.

The next thing to look for when it comes to packaging is how the provider is eliminating oxygen from the food. This will again provide the product a long shelf life as well as keep it fresh. If the company only provides an oxygen eliminating pack in its product, that’s really not enough to keep the food fresh. Look for a producer that fully nitrogen flushes its food to eliminate all oxygen in each bag.

Getting your food storage doesn’t have to be difficult. Don’t make the mistake of buying from the first food storage company you see and getting food that won’t be edible in an emergency. ValleyFoodStorage.com is dedicated to helping you with great tasting, long lasting, healthy food storage you’ll actually enjoy. That’s why our slogan is store food you’ll love to eat!

About the author:  James Tolboe is an owner at Valleyfoodstorage.com and has a passion for the outdoors and helping people prepare for all that life might throw at them. Visit his site to find out what he can do to help you be ready.

 

 

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Adjusting Your EDC with the Seasonhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/12/adjusting-edc-season/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/12/adjusting-edc-season/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 02:08:11 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11946 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

EDC or Every Day Carry is a term that I first heard about years ago to describe the tools and implements one could carry with them every day to either assist them with some of life’s minor inconveniences or in a worst case scenario, to help them survive. It’s the tools that each prepper should […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

EDC or Every Day Carry is a term that I first heard about years ago to describe the tools and implements one could carry with them every day to either assist them with some of life’s minor inconveniences or in a worst case scenario, to help them survive. It’s the tools that each prepper should have on them at all times so they can deal with whatever Murphy in his insane cruelty throws at you.

I might have first been exposed to the term EDC, by Nutnfancy who has a very interesting video that covers his own take on what he includes in his Every Day Carry among other topics. Regardless of where it came from I have thought about my own personal EDC every single day since then. I think about my own EDC every time I get dressed or at a bare minimum when I am leaving the house. I have worked for years on my EDC items so that I have systems in place for various needs or situations but my normal EDC load is pretty simple and consistent so that all I do when I leave the door is tap my body in the places where all my gear should be sitting or placed, then when comfortable with the knowledge that I haven’t forgotten anything I can walk out the door. You can read more about my personal EDC that I carry most days if you are looking for ideas on what to consider for your Every Day Carry.

Of course what I carry with me changes with the way I am dressed or the place I am going from time to time and that is one of the reasons why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to share some of what I carry for various seasons and wardrobe options and how that changes with the colder weather and give you a way to share what you carry and possibly win something in return. (Keep reading)

For my own personal EDC I like to make sure I have the following items with me at all times.

On body EDC

  • Concealed carry handgun – In the summertime this is a KelTec P3AT in a DeSantis Nemesis G3 pocket holster. Why this model? For two reasons, first it is simple to carry and I never have to worry about someone hugging me and asking (what is that?) when their arms go around my back. Plus I think it is easier to draw that pistol from my pocket as opposed to underneath a tucked in shirt. I know there will be commenters that talk about the effectiveness of the .380 cartridge and I agree that it is not as good an option as either a .9 or a .45 caliber subcompact. I agree and that is what I am saving my money for. Those Glock 30S’ aren’t cheap.
  • Knife – In the summer I carry a Kershaw Leek because if I have to clip it on my front pocket, it is small enough that it doesn’t interfere with my draw of the KelTec. As with my choice of concealed carry some will say this blade is woefully unable to do anything major in a survival scenario. I agree that this is not as good as my main survival knife, the Gerber LMF II, but that isn’t what we are talking about here.
  • Multi-tool – A Leatherman Charge is my go to multi-tool but on business trips I don’t necessarily want to carry this on my belt in dress pants. There are smaller and more diminutive options that I would carry like the Leatherman Micra if I was concerned with size and in a pair of shorts in the summertime, a smaller option is preferred.
  • Flashlight – Fenix LD10 which I believe has been replaced by the LD12. It is small and uses a single AA battery but it cranks out over 125 lumens so it is plenty bright for most any scenario.
  • Handkerchief – Or Bandana depending on your preference. Back pocket and fits the bill for a million uses.
  • Wallet – Courtesy of Saddleback Leather. I love this company and they have a 100 year guarantee on everything they make. I have the small bi-fold from Saddleback Leather.
  • WatchCasio Pathfinder. Great for hiking or just hanging around the office drinking coffee and you want to know what the Barometer is saying.

Off body but goes with me every day

  • Water bottle – Currently this is a stainless steel Nalgene water bottle because if I am stranded somewhere and need to boil my water, I can do it with this container. And, it looks cooler. OK, I admitted it.
  • Paracord – Just a hank of 25 feet or so.
  • First aid kit – Just a simple hiking first aid kit with some extra blood stoppers to account for serious injuries.
  • Fire starter – This is a Bic lighter because it is more practical (not as durable) as a fire steel in most cases. My Bug Out Bag has both options.

As I said, the place I am going or what I am wearing with dictate what I carry and how I carry my EDC gear. As the weather grows cooler, I modify my EDC to account for different scenarios but mostly because my clothing options allow greater flexibility with what I carry. In the summer, I am wearing shorts and short sleeve thin shirts when I am not working. If I am working, I have pants on. So what changes do I make?

  • Concealed Carry – With cooler weather I can wear jackets almost all the time so until I get that Glock 30S, my Glock 17 fits the bill. My holster changes to a Raven Concealed Phantom Modular Holster that works equally for my Glock 17 and my Glock 22. This holster holds the weapon nice and close to my side for an outside the waistband holster.
  • Knife – I will change out the smaller Leek for my Spyderco Tenacious G10 or my CRKT Onion. The Spyderco knife blade isn’t too much larger, but the hand grip feels better. If I am being honest though, neither the Spyderco or the Kershaw feels anywhere near as nice as the CRKT Onion.
  • Flashlight – Stays the same
  • Multi-Tool – Stays the same
  • Handkerchief – replaced with a fresh one. Hey, if you didn’t use it why clean it?

What’s in Your EDC?

This is where you come in and could win a $150 Amazon gift card to buy your own EDC gear for yourself or that someone special on your Prepper Christmas list. I want you to send me a picture of what is in your EDC and list the items. I will post the images on the Prepper Journal so everyone can see them. On December 15th I will judge the best photo using my own combination of criteria that I will keep to myself. Let’s just say I will pick the one I like the best. We are grading on presentation here too so make sure your photos look great. Get creative!

  • Each photo must be at least 1024 pixels wide by 800 pixels high. I recommend using a digital camera, not the camera on your smart phone.
  • Each photo’s contents must be listed with manufacturer and model number if appropriate.
  • I will not post your real name on the photo, but I need an alias to use. Either that or I will make one up for you that may not be flattering.
  • Submission deadline is December 12th at midnight PST.
  • Your submission is giving me permission to post these images on the Prepper Journal.
  • No photographs can be submitted that have been used on other websites or contests. I will do an image search before posting.

I may amend these rules at any time after the contest but only if I find someone abusing them. This could be a simple way for you to get a chance to win some holiday cash for shopping. It doesn’t require you to like our Facebook page or anything like that. Just a simple photo of your EDC gear.

What are you waiting for? Email your photos and your gear list to ‘info’ at theprepperjournal.com and if you have any questions, ask them in the comments below. Good luck!

 

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Thoughts on Veteran’s Dayhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/11/thoughts-veterans-day/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/11/thoughts-veterans-day/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 17:22:44 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11932 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I am a veteran. I served my country honorably and was discharged from service after fulfilling my enlistment term many years ago. I never saw combat although I served in a combat MOS and was enlisted during a period of active engagement on foreign soil. I know veterans as friends, both my father and grandfathers […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I am a veteran. I served my country honorably and was discharged from service after fulfilling my enlistment term many years ago. I never saw combat although I served in a combat MOS and was enlisted during a period of active engagement on foreign soil. I know veterans as friends, both my father and grandfathers served and now I have a son-in-law who is proudly serving today. Veteran’s Day was created as a way to remember those who have served and in many cases sacrificed all for their country but in some ways, this day seems to allow us to take pride in our soldiers while ignoring the continuation of actions that incur additional sacrifices that we ask them to give to this day. Veterans Day reminds us of who served, but should it also push us to want to change things? Rather than remembering service packaged in a compelling video snippet or moving ceremony; wouldn’t veterans be better served if we didn’t keep sending them to war?

I know some of you may disagree with what I am about to say and that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and mine has certainly evolved over the years. When I was a young man enlisting I had a huge sense of pride and patriotism for the job that I was signing up to do. It takes a special type of courage, and I do believe it is courage to enlist in a job that any sane person should realize carries the distinct possibility of death. Not death by old age either; death by a bullet, or by being blown up is not the way the average person envisions ending their work day. For hundreds of thousands of soldiers, they signed up knowing, especially in this age, that they could very well be shipped overseas to “protect our interests” in a foreign land and that too often comes with a heavy price tag.

I had grown up much the same as almost any red-blooded American boy of my generation being raised on a culture that held military service in a higher esteem. Movies glorified combat, although there was nothing in real life closer than our memories of Vietnam. We were fed a steady diet of heroes who stepped up for a country that needed men to defend them. We loved our country as a perfect ideal because we really didn’t know the true side of all its warts. America and being an American soldier was something to be proud of and it was treated with a sense of respect and honor by most.

Soldiers every day, I assume, think the same things that I did when I was 18; of how awesome a responsibility it was to defend your country. To fight as a soldier to protect my country is why I enlisted and I am sure everyone else had similar motivations, but are we fighting to defend our country? Are the sacrifices necessary today that we ask our young men and women to give? Are we taking advantage of young adult bravado to pull more bright men and women into a machine that neither values their sacrifice nor truly respects their almost too perfect view of their country and by association, the underlying reason for their service?

You might think from my words above that I am a pacifist, hippy, liberal, or whatever titles you want to place on someone who does not willingly beat the drum of war and believe the answer to all life’s problems are to send troops around the world to break and blow up stuff.  I am none of those, but I do want to stop sending our sons and daughters to die fighting terrorists we created and supported. I am very opposed to having our young people give their best only to come home to sub-par care from the wealthiest nation on earth. I am upset at the government who is quick to place troops in harm’s way but dicks around with their care so long that they are dying before they receive treatment. I am very much against spending our treasure to protect illegal opium fields while we declare a ridiculous war on drugs back home. I want to honor our veterans by learning from the lessons that they continue to give their lives to teach us.

This Veteran’s Day I will think about all of the people who have served in defense of our country. but I will not use this day as my get out of jail card to excuse further actions that kill or harm more of our young Americans. I would trade a million Veteran’s Day parades to simply have everyone serving overseas back home right now. We need to do more than simply remember. We need to learn that giving your lives in service to this country should rate more than a day with kind words and a free coffee from Starbucks.

Our veterans deserve better than platitudes. They deserve to be receiving the best medical care in the world. They deserve a country that tries to do anything in our power to prevent sending a single other person to a “conflict” rather than yet again threatening to send more troops to fight the latest crisis of the day. They deserve to be treated honorably when they return as opposed to being viewed as possible terrorists. Any future sacrifice should be something that we go into as a country with much trepidation, thought and prayer worthy of the gravity inherent in issues that are as big as the lives given to defend us. They deserve more than a day. They deserve better from the country they love so much.

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Pandemic Preparedness: Simple Steps to Protect Your Familyhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/11/pandemic-preparedness-simple-steps-protect-family/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/11/pandemic-preparedness-simple-steps-protect-family/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 16:06:26 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11925 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I was recently hired by Overstock.com to write an article for their new site O.info. The goal of O.info is to be a source of user-generated how-to guides on all manner of subjects. The category that seemed to fit me best was Emergency Preparedness due in no small part I assume to the work here […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I was recently hired by Overstock.com to write an article for their new site O.info. The goal of O.info is to be a source of user-generated how-to guides on all manner of subjects. The category that seemed to fit me best was Emergency Preparedness due in no small part I assume to the work here on the Prepper Journal. I guess I could also write about Pets or Outdoors in some capacity, but you would never want my advice on something like Fashion. I will leave that up to others.

The first topic I wrote about was Pandemic Preparedness: Simple Steps to Protect Your Family and this is a fairly lengthy guide that tries to imagine the steps you would need to think through in advance of some potential pandemic scenario that required you and your family to retreat into your home for thirty days. The self-quarantine method that so many health officials and even our military are practicing could become necessary if we were to see something on the scale of the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918-1920. That pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide in just two years. This was before cities with populations of millions and international air traffic every single day whisking people around the world, exploding any geographic boundaries.

One of the benefits of the O.info site is that it is created as a wiki so anyone can contribute, add content and even edit what is written. I would ask anyone interested to check out the article and add your own ideas or perspective as you see fit. The information of thousands is better than a single voice and we all have some information to offer.

There are other topics covered but the wealth of information that could populate a category as large as Emergency Preparedness is still just in its formative stages on the O.info site. Take a look around and please contribute if you feel like this is something that is interesting to you.

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How to Make a Winter Survival Kithttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/08/make-winter-survival-kit/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/08/make-winter-survival-kit/#comments Sat, 08 Nov 2014 17:06:41 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11908 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

With the approaching winter season and headlines like “Monster Storm on the Way” it’s time to consider your auto preparedness with a winter survival kit. I am not talking about your bug out vehicle, but I guess that is relevant. If you are stranded in your car like thousands were last January in Atlanta, will […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

With the approaching winter season and headlines like “Monster Storm on the Way” it’s time to consider your auto preparedness with a winter survival kit. I am not talking about your bug out vehicle, but I guess that is relevant. If you are stranded in your car like thousands were last January in Atlanta, will you have basic supplies to stay alive? Granted, these motorists could have had it a lot worse, like maybe Boston, but by taking simple steps now you can ensure that no matter where you live, you are better prepared this winter season if you are forced to survive overnight or possibly two days in your car.

A winter car survival kit is simple to pull together and a lot of these items you probably already have either in your home or your car or garage. This article we are going to pull all these items together into one container you can store in your car and make sure that you won’t be stranded with nothing more than the clothes you left work in. For a simple reference, you can print this list out.

What items do you need in your winter car kit?

ShovelingOut

For snow removal/general purpose

  • Shovel – If you need to dig out of snow, it sure helps to have a shovel unless you want to try and use your windshield scraper. SOG makes an Entrenching tool that is the perfect price for your car survival kit.
  • Windshield Scraper – If you get stuck in a snowstorm and are forced to wait, you will likely need to scrape off your windows.
  • Tow Rope – Many times a call to the tow truck isn’t necessary if someone with a four wheel drive can pull you out. If you simply slide into a shallow ditch but can’t move due to traction (this happened to me), wrap a tow rope around your axle and get back on the road.
  • Gas Can – If you don’t follow the advice of every single other prepping blog out there and keep a minimum of a half tank of gas, you might need to get some and bring it back
  • Jumper Cables – Self explanatory
  • Can of Fix a Flat – Of course a full size spare tire is best but you might be in conditions that don’t permit a jack easily. These temporary solutions save time and money on the road, but be sure to get the tire repaired quickly.
  • Cat litter – No, this isn’t if you have to go to the bathroom, it is for traction. Just last year I decided to see if I could make it out of my neighborhood in my front wheel drive car. Guess what? I couldn’t so the cat litter was deployed under the front tires to help me get traction.
  • Emergency Flares – Great for signaling others if there is an accident or for help. Flares can be seen for a long distance so if you need to get someone’s attention these could do the trick.
High Heels look great, but they don't make sense in the snow.

High Heels look great, but they don’t make sense in the snow.

To stay warm

  • Sturdy Shoes – Most of the time this applies to women more so than men. Ladies, do you want to break down in a blizzard and be forced to try and walk to safety wearing those cute high heel shoes you have on? Keep a backup pair of sturdy shoes or boots if you are forced to walk.
  • Warm Gloves – Gloves will keep your paws warm which will make you feel warmer as well.
  • Hand warmers – If the gloves aren’t enough some hand warmers are amazing. They will safely store in your trunk for years. Great for sporting events too!
  • Wool Blanket or Sleeping Bag – A good wool blanket will keep you incredibly warm. A good sleeping bag like Elite Survival Systems Recon 3 packs small and can be used for camping as well.
  • Fleece Toboggan – You lose a lot of heat through your head, so wrap that bad boy up in something warm.

To stay comfortable

  • Flashlight/Headlamp – Let’s face it. Being in the dark alone on the side of the road sucks out loud. Just having some light makes a world of difference. I prefer headlamps for their hands free simplicity. Make sure you have spare batteries too.
  • Battery powered radio – Or hand crank if you prefer. This serves two purposes. It can entertain and inform you. Good to have one of these around the house as well if the regular communication methods are down and this won’t wear down your cell phone battery.
  • Water – two days’ worth – Throw 2 gallons of water in your car and you are golden.
  • Snack Food – two days’ worth – Something that won’t easily go bad and doesn’t need preparation. Snack bars, jerky, power bars, trail mix.

Just in case

  • Matches or Lighter – I prefer the cheap Bic lighters. I doubt that you would need to start a fire in your car, but you never know…
  • First aid kit – Something that has more than band aids. Chances are if you are stranded and hurt it will be more than a Hello Kitty band aid can fix. Make sure you can stop blood lose and medicate for pain until help arrives.
  • Knife – I see some people packing a big survival knife in their car. I guess if the grid goes down, you are forced off the road and into the woods for survival this could be necessary, but we are talking about getting stuck and spending a day or two in the car. Not becoming Rambo. A nice folder will do the trick for just about anything you could need it for.
  • Any medications you need for daily use – Pack two days worth of your regular medicine in a travel container and always have it with you.
  • Whistle – It is easier than yelling “Is there anyone there? Help Me!!!”
  • Cell Phone Charger – This is the last on the list because if you are stranded and your can still runs, you should be able to charge your phone unless you don’t have a charging cable in your car, or you ran out of gas.

Where do you put your winter car survival kit?

Once you have all the items assembled, remove them from their packaging and estimate the size container you would need to stow all of the materials. Some of the basic automobile items like jumper cables and road flares might have their own container. Hop over to your local store and buy a simple plastic bin with a lid on it, load up all of your survival gear and place it in the trunk.

Good luck and I hope you never need to use it.

 

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Are You Prepared for Any Crisis?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/07/are-you-prepared-for-any-crisis/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/07/are-you-prepared-for-any-crisis/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 16:48:16 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11900 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Everyone has a personal bias they bring to any situation they are placed in. Your mental baggage is formed in part by who you are (your life experiences, how you were raised, personal beliefs or principles) and what you think you know (skills, training, history, and evidence) combined with the various factors of the situation […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Everyone has a personal bias they bring to any situation they are placed in. Your mental baggage is formed in part by who you are (your life experiences, how you were raised, personal beliefs or principles) and what you think you know (skills, training, history, and evidence) combined with the various factors of the situation or how it relates to you in terms of personal risk/reward. Put 6 people in a room and catch the room on fire, you will have 6 different responses at least internally to what each individual is thinking and is capable of doing. Or at least that is what I think.

I do believe that for whatever reason – and I know smarter people than I have studied and diagrammed this out millions of times – that each of us has our own opinion based upon, for lack of a more scientific term, what we feel in our gut. How our gut gets programmed is a science arrived at by the specific disciplines I mentioned above more or less I believe and maybe 1 part supernatural, but regardless of how we get to what we are; each of us brings our own perspective to everything we do. It is no different with potential threats we all consider when we are talking about SHTF and how best to prepare for those threats as we see them in our own minds. What is our gut telling us about the various threats and how should we react knowing what we think we know and dealing within the realities of our current lives?

All of this is to say that we all have different opinions on what is important. We all make our own determinations as to what is reasonable for us individually and each of us comes to the subject of prepping, with respect to the threats we visualize, from a different point of view. How in a world of so many various viewpoints and opinions, advantages and limitations can anyone say they have a concrete step by step plan for all people that will guarantee safety and security without fail?

The bottom line is you can’t.

I take with a grain of salt anyone who proposes to sell you a 10-step program that promises to solve all your problems. You should look at the information on the Prepper Journal the same way if we start doing that. Even from my own perspective, I speak in generalities more often than some people are comfortable with because I believe that you have to make the best decisions for yourself and your family based on what your gut is telling you. I can share areas of consideration that I can argue make sense, but I can’t make the specific detailed decisions for you because I am not you. I don’t know what you know. I don’t live where you live. I may never go through the same things you go through and I may not act the way you would act when confronted with the same information.

Too often we look for the easy way out and I am just as guilty of doing this as anyone from time to time myself. We just want a magic box of preparedness that we can stash in the closet that will give us everything we need. We don’t want to think about what is in that magic box and we don’t want it to take up too much space or require us to pay attention to it from time to time. We just want someone to send us the box that will do anything we need it to if we have a disaster. People want to be prepared just by owning a “kit” and then having that box checked, we can go on with our lives. Preparedness to me isn’t just about having stuff (your survival kit), it is taking steps in a direction that puts you on a path to preparedness that you are constantly traveling. The destination is never reached.

I don’t believe there is any magic kit of preparedness that you can purchase. There isn’t a single list of prepper supplies that will cover any and every contingency that you could ever be faced with but I do believe there is a strategy you can follow that can guide you down the right path towards being better prepared for any crisis. So absent the rationale of the specific threat itself which we might all disagree with; what do we all as humans need to do to be prepared for any crisis that we face from Alien invasion to Zombies? (Note to the new reader to the Prepper Journal, that signifies A to Z… not that I only believe in highly improbable events)

Physical health and ability are just as important as having the gear.

Physical health and ability are just as important as having the gear.

Are you physically prepared for any crisis?

I can’t imagine that too many people would argue with the statement that a physically healthy individual is better prepared to handle any crisis. I have discussed this on the Prepper Journal before and this isn’t a new topic by any stretch on prepping blogs, but I see so many people who are out of shape but believe they are going to be running through the woods with a giant overloaded bug out bag on their backs. Have you gone to almost any store and looked at the overall physical health of people? I would say that where I live, a majority are toting an extra 100 pounds on their mid-section. I shouldn’t need to pull up statistics on obesity in the US, but survival in great measure depends on strength, endurance and the need for hard work and movement. If any of these are difficult to do on a normal day, how do you feel it will be when it is raining aliens from another planet?

All joking about aliens aside, even if you have the latest bulletproof vest, survival rifle and all the tactical battle gear in the world, that doesn’t mean you are prepared as well as possible to survive. Even if you have 500 cases of the best freeze dried food on the planet, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a heart attack carrying it up the stairs. If you aren’t able to run a couple of miles, carry that bug out bag for a few days or work hard in your yard all weekend without pulling something or being laid up the next week with body pains; you should consider how this might affect your overall chances at surviving anything.

This is not directed at the more senior of us out there who may have age related health issues, but if you are a 30 year old man who can’t do any push ups, couldn’t run 2 miles to save your life, but have spent thousands of dollars on the must-have prepper gear you should stop and think about getting physically prepared now. If the crap hits the fan chances are you won’t be able to do a Jillian Michaels workout in your living room fast enough to get in shape before you need to.

Are you mentally prepared for any crisis?

I think the mental angle of preparedness is more important than just about any other aspect of prepping when you consider everything that goes into forming, executing and possibly modifying your preparedness plan. Going back to what I said at the start of this article, you can’t simply buy a ton of gear, lock that in a safe and call yourself prepared. There is a mental component to analyzing data that changes daily. Certainly having supplies stored up is a component, but mentally you have to work through the problems of figuring out what supplies you might need and in what quantities. You will have to adjust for your own environment so that could involve researching alternatives and there is your own reality. You may have small children that require different approaches than an older teen for example might need. Prepping is a lot of thought and it is this process of research and a lot of trial and error that has informed my prepping plans more than any book.

In addition to knowledge, mentally you have to consider the various outcomes possible from some of these scenarios you are preparing for. It doesn’t matter if you have the best handgun in the world. If someone comes to your home intent on harming you or taking your supplies, are you prepared to use that handgun? What good is stocking up in the first place and purchasing a weapon for security unless you have made the mental decisions about what you will do if ever placed in that situation? In the end it will boil down to what you actually do and your mental preparations need to take this into consideration. The magic box isn’t going to think for you.

Are you logistically prepared for any crisis?

I saved this for last because it is less important in most respects than the other two in my opinion. I believe knowledge trumps stuff, but stuff can and will benefit you. It is very important to have water on hand for example, but without it, the person who will be better prepared is the person who can go get water, disinfect it and live when it runs out. These two people are both capable of obtaining water for at least the short-term and that may be all that is necessary. Another way of looking at this is the person who doesn’t have any water stored, but is able to go out and acquire it may be putting themselves at greater risk that the person who has it stored at home.

A well-rounded prepper should both know how to make do without supplies and ideally have those supplies at their disposal when they are needed. This gets into subjects like food storage, having a garden that is producing, having first aid supplies and self-defensive weapons. I am not advocating having a lot of “stuff” without knowing how to make it work for you, but if you do have a fully stocked pantry, a working garden or livestock that you can depend on for food if the stores are no longer working, you may have an advantage over the person who knows how to create a snare to trap small game; at least initially. Long-term Daniel Boone will be better prepared, but in the short-term I wouldn’t advocate relying entirely on your ability to acquire food in the forests.

In addition to supplies, you may have to move. Are you prepared to leave your home if needed? I know my personal plan is to shelter-in-place, but I know that can change. If it does, my family has prepared to go on foot. We have options should my perfect disaster situation not work out like I hope. Going back to mental preparation, this backup planning and strategizing will help you.

Prepping gets distilled down to simple lists and advice, but there are tons of things to think about. I personally think the act of thinking about the various topics benefits each of us. Certainly conversations on this blog inform others so I welcome the dialog.

Have you thought outside of your magic box?

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Ebola: ‘Soft’ Quarantine Placing America At Risk?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/06/ebola-soft-quarantine-placing-america-risk/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/06/ebola-soft-quarantine-placing-america-risk/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 13:00:03 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11885 Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

In response to my last article titled ‘Will The Real Ebola Patient Please Stand Up’, I received an inquiry from a reporter who works for a large newspaper in Oregon. In the inquiry, the question that was essentially posed to me was ‘how do I define the word quarantine’. Basically, the reporter wanted to mince […]

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Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

In response to my last article titled ‘Will The Real Ebola Patient Please Stand Up’, I received an inquiry from a reporter who works for a large newspaper in Oregon. In the inquiry, the question that was essentially posed to me was ‘how do I define the word quarantine’. Basically, the reporter wanted to mince words about how I used that word in my article, and in passing also mentioned that there are (as of Nov. 4th) 5 people who are under Ebola watch pursuant to a self-monitoring quarantine protocol. What is concerning is that this brand new protocol is being lauded as ‘successful and working’, only because a few cases (the woman in Oregon from Liberia, the nurses in Texas and the doctor in New York) reported a fever and were subsequently hospitalized.

From my chair it’s a bit premature to characterize that a newly adapted protocol, with essentially just a few data points, as being ‘successful’ and ‘working’. What happens when someone has a faulty thermometer and doesn’t realize that they have a fever, and then continue to mix with the general public while symptomatic (the period when the CDC says people are most contagious)? Or what happens if someone is mentally unbalanced and doesn’t report a fever, or if the onset of the disease is so fast and severe, the individual develops symptoms while in a public location (Vomiting, Diarrhea, etc.), and so on; there are a dozen more possibilities along these lines that could lead to a failure in the protocol.

The reason that Cities, Counties and States are all looking at the self-imposed/self-monitoring form of a ‘quarantine’, as it has also been called by other writers, is that with the ACLU on the lookout for any perceived civil rights violations as we have seen in New York with the Ebola healthcare nurse Kaci Hicox, these government bodies are fearful of potential litigation by people who are forced into strict quarantine.

What really is at stake here is a full-blown epidemic in America if we have any bad luck while this protocol is in use. And the numbers of people who are now on such protocols is unknown. For instance, the health department in Oregon is saying that due to HIPPA regulations they unable to provide details about potential cases; where they are located during the voluntary quarantine, etc. Who knew there was already 5 people under Ebola watch just in Oregon. And more people are flocking to America daily from Africa as a result of the recent news of successful treatments for Ebola being provided here. I can’t blame anyone in Africa for trying whatever tactics to get into the U.S.; Mr. Duncan potentially being the poster-child for such a tactic.

What concerns me is this:

We have 150 people each day flying into America from Ebola stricken African nations!

Unlike many other modern nations, our borders are wide-open to all comers from African nations, and too many people in our government have been patting themselves on their backs as they trumpet to the world that we can handle anything the virus throws our way, when the facts on the ground paint a somewhat different picture.

More than 10,000 people in Africa currently have the virus and more than 5,000 have already died (and the CDC admits those numbers may be low). So far, the score here in the U.S. as far as successful treatment is; Mr. Duncan died and two nurses lived (the doctor in New York is still pending); that’s a one-in-three death rate even with treatment using the specialized hospital treatment suites (11 total across the U.S.: ), staff and drugs. What happens when there are more than 11 patients? What happens when there are 110 patients, or 1,100 patients? What’s the death-rate then? What’s the transmission rate to healthcare workers during treatment outside of the 11 specialized hospital-units? We know that two nurses in HAZMAT suits who treated Mr. Duncan both caught Ebola. Just in the past 5-months, over 200 trained healthcare workers have died from Ebola… so the rate of transmission is not insignificant, even among trained professionals.

If governmental health departments use the self-imposed quarantine and monitoring protocols across the country, and also keep as tight lipped as the officials in Oregon citing HIPPA regulations, we could potentially have hundreds of ‘possible cases’ distributed across the U.S. and you wouldn’t even know if a person in your apartment, or living next-door might be carrying the virus until an ambulance appeared with men in HAZMAT suits!

The ACLU may have unknowingly created a monster when they sided with healthcare nurse Kaci Hicox to have the State of Maine lift her quarantine, which was decidedly in the best interests of Ms. Hicox and not necessarily the community there in Maine or Americans in general. Even if she’s turns out to be virus free, the premature lifting of her strict quarantine may have set a very dangerous precedent. We need to keep in mind that the current Ebola pandemic, started with just one case in Africa. And if this deadly virus mutates in a single host and becomes more virulent, America could potentially suffer a devastating epidemic. Taking a cavalier political approach to this situation is extremely risky.

I believe that if men and women want to go to war and serve our country, they do so at their own risk, and all of our soldiers realize that. Similarly, any healthcare workers who bravely volunteer to go into areas that are beset by Ebola have to realize and understand that they cannot subject Americans back at home to any of the risk that they have assumed for themselves, regardless of how small the risk may be; if it’s greater than zero, then it’s too much. I believe that health care workers who wish to risk their own lives are certainly brave and desperately needed, but just like soldiers, healthcare workers should also be prepared to undertake a strict 21-day quarantine, which is the same protocol that our military has intelligently adopted to protect Americans. Does it seem that the military side of government is more concerned about protecting Americans than the civilian/political side?

Effects of Ebola

Effects of Ebola

Coming home to the U.S. from an area that is crawling with Ebola, and then expecting to seamlessly integrate back into society prior to clearing any potential time-frame for the potential transmission of Ebola is just self-serving and inconsiderate of fellow Americans. The ACLU needs to consider that; one person does not have the right (Constitutional or otherwise) to expose others to the risk of a potentially lethal disease, regardless of how small the odds are.

For one, I disagree with Kaci Hicox’s opinion of the low-risk that healthcare workers returning from Africa potentially pose to others. And if the virus has mutated in the body of a returning healthcare worker, it’s possible that America could be exposed to a far more virulent strain of Ebola, where existing protocols would fall seriously short, possibly resulting in an American epidemic of a more deadly strain!

We have already seen an airborne strain of Ebola once before and we were lucky that the military got a handle on that situation quickly, since that strain was located in an animal quarantine lab in Reston, VA. https://ispub.com/IJPRM/2/1/12768

The politicians who are leading the media are not erring on the side of caution, and instead have crossed over the double yellow line… now it may only be a matter of time until the worst case scenario becomes a reality.

I believe that if we are going to allow people to enter the U.S. who have recently been in affected African nations, regardless of the reason for their visit there, they must face a strict 21-day quarantine here in America. Anything less is inviting disaster! Ideally, we should simply close our borders to anyone originating from the affected African nations, and quarantine these people in Africa before they leave to other countries. Some people might consider a 21-day quarantine a hardship; to them I respond, have you ever seen and smelled a person infected with an advanced case of Ebola? If not, you can get a sobering education over on YouTube:

Knowledge is power and gives the ability to be prepared and to survive.

Cheers! Capt. Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

www.WilliameSimpson.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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Standing Up a Post-Disaster Survival Communityhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/05/standing-post-disaster-survival-community/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/05/standing-post-disaster-survival-community/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:00:26 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11875 Written by Richard Bryant on The Prepper Journal.

Many preppers have formed a mental picture of the ideal bug out destination being a cabin located in some remote wilderness, well away from any population center. Others imagine an underground bunker where a mutual assistance group (“MAG”) can hunker down and ride things out for as long as is necessary. While these images have […]

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Written by Richard Bryant on The Prepper Journal.

Many preppers have formed a mental picture of the ideal bug out destination being a cabin located in some remote wilderness, well away from any population center. Others imagine an underground bunker where a mutual assistance group (“MAG”) can hunker down and ride things out for as long as is necessary. While these images have their appeal, they also present serious challenges of their own.

In the process of authoring “When There is No FEMA” I had the opportunity to give quite a bit of consideration to the ideal bug out destination, and one question persistently nagged at me – if a survival group is defending a small property in a remote location, then what is to stop a concealed enemy with a high-powered rifle from picking off members of the community one-by-one?   For me this highlights a fatal flaw in the “remote cabin” scenario, and underscores an important principle that should apply to any bug out location … any survival group should control a sufficiently large area that their base of operations is outside of rifle range of the perimeter they control.

This principle suggests that a small group is not necessarily the best group for a survival scenario. A small town, by comparison, has the physical size and raw manpower necessary to control a larger geographic area on a 24×7 basis. Additionally, a small town often has infrastructure such as machine shops, heavy equipment and agricultural land that can allow a local economy to be rebuilt.

Of course no scenario is perfect, and the small-town-as-bugout-destination scenario presents its own set of challenges, perhaps the largest of which is that only a small percentage of the population will be even remotely prepared in advance. While my book has the pages to go into great detail on how to quickly adapt a small community in the wake of social collapse, this article can at least provide an overview of the important topic.

Because great majority of an area’s inhabitants are going to be unprepared every second that passes will be critical. In the immediate aftermath there will be a lot of nervous energy, and this will be the absolute worst time for the clear thinking needed to define a viable survival community. However, that nervous energy could be constructively channeled into executing a plan that has already been developed. This article will cover the basics of such a plan (with this stipulation that there are always 1000 ways to skin the proverbial cat).

Physical security should be one of the first priorities.

Physical security should be one of the first priorities.

All small communities are not created equal. While an urban neighborhood or small suburb may provide the manpower and geographic size to meet post-disaster survival needs, unlike small towns they often do not have the agricultural or industrial base needed to support an independent economy. Additionally, inhabitants in these more urban locations are much less likely to possess the survival skills their rural counterparts take for granted.

There are some critical prerequisites to successfully adapting a small, unprepared community to survive a major disaster. They include:

  • Mitigation of all immediate threats to life and property
  • Producing a community charter that will govern the community.

Mitigation of immediate threats includes such basic activities as putting out fires, tending to the injured and placing sandbags to prevent property from flooding.

The community charter is a document that identifies elected offices and the terms of such offices, sets forth the procedures for electing officers, and defines their responsibilities. It should also specify those within the community who are eligible to vote and the procedures for carrying out elections (in recognition of the crucial factor of time the charter might describe the use of a fair coin toss to decide the outcome of tied elections, rather than requiring time-sensitive runoff elections). The charter should also specify if capital and corporal punishments are to be considered for some offenses and have provisions for such things as amending the charter and the recall of elected leaders.

NOTE: Chapter 14 of “When There is No FEMA” provides a complete, detailed community charter.

The charter should also cover:

  • Printing and minting of new coins and currency for the community
  • Identifying the initial elected and appointed leadership positions within the community and specifying their wages (in the community’s currency)
  • Processes for bringing outsiders into the community
  • Ownership of property
  • Crime and punishment – specifically identifying those crimes for which capital punishment, corporal punishment, or banishment from the community may apply
  • A minimum wage for those working within the community (this critical factor will be discussed in more detail below)
  • Defining guidelines for assessing the value of all physical property within the community
  • Specifying the oaths of office to be taken by all elected and appointed leaders

 

If the community votes in favor of capital punishment for select crimes It is a good idea to consider counterfeiting as one of the crimes that are candidates for that ultimate punishment.   The corrupting of the community’s monetary system is a direct threat to the lives of all members of the community; thus counterfeiting can reasonably be equated to attempted murder.

Those leaders who are best-suited to lead during non-disaster times are not necessarily the best post-disaster leaders. As a result it would be optimal for new elections to be held to allow those leaders to be installed who are best suited to the new circumstances (NOTE: While new members of the community may move into leadership positions, for obvious reasons those who have best knowledge of critical infrastructure such as water and sewage systems should almost certainly be retained in those typically appointed positions.) In my book I describe the election of a Council consisting of an odd number of members of the community. The odd number is to avoid the possibility of tie votes. Once elected, those council members might vote for who among them will be the council leader. In addition to normal council responsibilities, the Council leader is responsible for scheduling and organizing Council meetings and setting meeting agendas.

Once elected, the council members should appoint various others to leadership positions specified in the charter, and assign those appointees the tasks of developing plans for organizing those areas of the community that are within the scope of their responsibilities (any such tasks must have aggressive deadlines assigned).  Appointed positions might include a head of defense, a chief of police, a director of public works, the community banker, a property assessor and directors of health, education, agriculture and finance.

Jump-Starting the Local Economy

As the post-disaster clock ticks, growing seasons for crops come and go, and the members within the community grow more hungry and desperate. Hence it is vital that the local economy be restarted immediately. In the aftermath of a major disaster anyone who does not make this their primary focus is courting misery and death. One of the most important roles in restoring the economy is that of the newly appointed community banker, and the banker’s first job should be to identify a means for the printing of money and the minting of coins.

NOTE: Depending on the nature of the disaster, the role of banker may be one that is not particularly popular.   However, the post-disaster community banker is an entirely different beast than any international bankers who may be considered to have brought about a financial collapse. The role of community banker is critical to the survival of the community in the aftermath of a major disaster.

A currency replacement will need to be created.

A currency replacement will need to be created.

The polish and appearance of the community’s new currency is not particularly important because it can be upgraded at any time (all the banker has to do is to announce that the old currency will become worthless at some specified date, and invite community members to trade that soon-to-be-worthless currency for any superior version of the currency that is developed). The total amount of currency produced should be a fixed value, with all future printed currency either being produced in accordance with a pre-existing plan or as part of a program to replace and retire old, worn currency.

As new currency is produced a quantity of the newly-minted money should be distributed to each member of the community based on their age (and possibly other criteria). This will allow members of the community to immediately begin to make purchases, thereby restarting the economy. A substantial amount of the printed money should also be retained by the new government for purposes of paying wages, purchasing services from other members of the community, or to stimulate certain strategic sectors of the economy. Needless to say, the amount of money printed and minted for the community will be substantial – probably the equivalent of many tens of millions of pre-disaster US dollars in the case of a small town. At the same time, 80%-90% of that money should be held in reserve and dispersed into the community over a period of 5-10 years. It is not even necessary for that reserve money to be printed or minted until there is a need to disperse it; it can simply be kept “on the books”.

A minimum wage is yet another of those factors that are fundamental and critical to the community’s survival. While most communities are not sitting atop piles of precious metals that can be used as the basis of assigning value to its money, the setting of a minimum wage has precisely that effect. Rather than setting a single minimum wage, however, tiers of minimum wage might be set based on the age of the worker. This has the effect of helping younger workers to gravitate into the economy (by creating demand for their less-skilled labor) while at the same time providing a healthy incentive for older workers to nurture their own careers before they can be displaced by younger, lower cost workers.

Another important appointed position within the community is that of the property assessor, who is tasked with the responsibility of assigning value to all physical property within the community. Depending on the size and composition of the community, the assessor may have a need for a staff to work under his or her direction to meet the needs of this position. Using guidelines provided by the charter, the assessor should be able to appraise the value of virtually any physical property for purposes of taxation and/or purchase.

Property Ownership

Ownership of property is another critical linchpin to the stability of the post-disaster community. If property rights are not clearly defined then members of the community will have no faith in the system and will have far less motivation to work. The community charter should take into account the cases of those who owned property within the community pre-disaster, those who have been renting property from current community members, those who have been renting property from outsiders and property within the community that is owned by outsiders. It may be desirable for the community itself to assume ownership of all property owned by outsiders that lies within its physical boundaries.   It would be better for such assets to be contributing to the local economy than for them to deteriorate while waiting for an owner who never appears (and if they do eventually appear then accommodations might be negotiated at that time).

Initial Task Assignments

During each public council meeting new tasks should be assigned to elected and appointed officials and the results of already-completed tasks should be discussed. Initially these tasks may take the form of assignments to develop plans. For example, the head of defense may be tasked with developing a plan for the defense of the community. The director of agriculture may be assigned a task to develop plans for foraging and growing the next season’s crops. These plans can then be reviewed, revised and approved, and would result in work assignments for members of the community (or for companies that exist within the community).

Crime and Punishment

In a post-disaster scenario perspectives on capital and corporal punishment may very well change. For example, given the expected scarcity of the basics for human life, the crime of looting might be equated with attempted murder, which the community may decide warrants capital punishment. Also, because the community may not be able to afford to incarcerate a convicted criminal who could otherwise be working constructively, it may be necessary to carry out corporal punishment for certain offenses (in reality corporal punishment may be more humane than incarceration – would you rather suffer through several lashes from a whip or to be separated from your loved ones for months or years?) Additionally, some crimes may simply merit banishment from the community and forfeiture of assets.

Integrating Newcomers into the Community

It is inevitable that outsiders will eventually wish to become part of a successful community. Any such petition should be considered from multiple perspectives. Does the newcomer have a special skill or knowledge that could benefit the community? Is the community in need of physical labor which the newcomer is capable of performing? Is some member of the community willing to speak in favor of the newcomer or to otherwise sponsor the newcomer into the community? Ultimately the decision to accept the newcomer into the community should rest with the Council or those it appoints for this purpose.

Merging with Other Communities

Historically the merging of small communities under difficult circumstances has been a very bloody affair. Often the reluctance of two communities to merge simply reflects the resistance of the community’s leadership to loss of authority. The community charter should outline a means through which two communities could merge while avoiding wasteful conflict. One approach might be to make all decisions regarding potential community mergers through majority vote. Another approach might be to provide a “golden parachute” (e.g. highly desirable employment) to any displaced elected community members in the event that their position is eliminated due to such a merger.

Conclusion

I will paraphrase the American inventor Thomas Edison and say that, while it is essential for a community to adapt itself in the wake of a major disaster, and that adaptation does require establishing leadership and developing plans, the ultimate survival of that community will consist of one percent inspiration (electing officials and planning) and ninety-nine percent perspiration (carrying out those plans). Deadlines assigned for planning should be aggressive, and work under those plans should commence immediately and have its own tight deadlines.

As most members of the community have not prepared themselves prior to the disaster they should work as though their lives hang in the balance – because that is exactly the case!

About the Author: Richard Bryant is author of the preparedness book “When There is No FEMA – Survival for Normal People in (Very) Abnormal Times” and a long-time preparedness group organizer in Central Florida. He has recently relocated permanently to his disaster retreat in rural West Tennessee. The first 60 pages of his book are available for review and download at http://nofema.com.

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Will The Real Ebola Patient Please Stand Up!http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/04/will-real-ebola-patient-please-stand/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/04/will-real-ebola-patient-please-stand/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:00:18 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11848 Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

We all need to start taking the Ebola situation more seriously! We are coming into the Flu and cold season and this will make screening for Ebola much more difficult. Any travelers entering the United States legally (not considering those entering illegally) and who have a fever due to a cold or Flu and happened […]

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Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

We all need to start taking the Ebola situation more seriously! We are coming into the Flu and cold season and this will make screening for Ebola much more difficult. Any travelers entering the United States legally (not considering those entering illegally) and who have a fever due to a cold or Flu and happened to have been anywhere around the infected area of Africa will have to be quarantined. Due to the sheer number of potential candidates, this will become an arduous and complex task very quickly, which is a problem at a time when the public health infrastructure is already strained to the limit.

And the transmission of diseases while traveling, especially on airplanes is significant.

As the numbers of ‘false alerts’ from the quarantine process increases, people will become lax in their duties, that’s just human nature…. And it only takes one screw-up to start an epidemic in the U.S. We have been very lucky so far, and even so, in just a short period we have nearly reached the limits of being able to treat the new cases. We should note that there are just a few hospitals equipped to treat Ebola, and counting all of them, there are a total of 11 beds available across the U.S. where Ebola can be treated!

So we could be facing what some may call a ‘perfect storm’ for enhancing the odds of an Ebola epidemic in America:

 

  1. We are at the onset of the cold and flu season; and,
  2. We are heading into the holiday travel season; and,
  3. Our borders are wide open to travelers originating from the affected African nations, and they will be making flights that are over 8-hours in duration with other passengers; and,
  4. This is the largest outbreak of Ebola ever known, and when you have this many infected people, the odds favoring viral mutation are greatly enhanced. This can lead to a new strain of Ebola that is even more contagious.
  5. The numbers of people going into quarantine will certainly rise; and finally,
  6. We have only 11 beds where we can treat actual cases! How far will that take us in an epidemic?

 

Let’s face facts: Ebola has already grown into a ‘pandemic’; it has now appeared on several continents. Notice that the news media has been very shy about using this accurate term. Ebola is now a ‘Pandemic’.

Last Friday (Oct. 31) we find out that a Liberian woman who flew into the U.S. and who had recently traveled in the Ebola infected areas of Africa arrived in Oregon and then subsequently developed a fever, and she was tested for Ebola. It turns out that on Sunday, it was reported by a ‘host’ family member that her fever has gone down, but as more details about Ebola leaked out from the public health officials, it was learned that actually 3 people in Oregon have met certain criteria and have been under Ebola watch!

The key point is not whether or not this woman has Ebola. The key point is that this woman successfully passed through all of the airport screenings, which as we see are useless. And the world is watching as we provide treatment to people who are ill with Ebola, which makes getting into the U.S. a high priority for anyone who thinks they may be exposed. Any traveler or foreigner who is concerned about having a possible Ebola infection and who wants to reach the hospitals in America for treatment, could simply take an anti-pyretic such as aspirin or Tylenol to hide any later stage fever symptoms and pass through the airport screenings. Anyone with as much as a brain-stem should understand that our current administration’s open-border policy is reckless and obtuse, and is designed to serve a political agenda related to supporting a potential ‘amnesty for illegal immigrants’ unilaterally by Obama, as opposed to prioritizing the protection American citizens.

It’s a fact that there is no fever or any other symptom that can be detected during the first stages of the Ebola illness according to the CDC. And the incubation period may be as long as 42 days according to some virologists. During the early stage of the illness, an infected person wouldn’t even need to use an anti-pyretic to pass through the airport screenings.

The situation with the Oregon woman (and the other two people in quarantine that came up in conversation) should be a real wake-up call for the West Coast of the U.S. Personally, I just don’t understand how some people on the West Coast (especially our legislators) don’t seem as concerned as they should be considering that Mr. Duncan arrived in the U.S. and had his Ebola bloom in Texas. Now we could have a similar situation anywhere in the U.S.

The Obama administration is enhancing the rate of our daily risk with an open-borders policy, which actually encourages people who are, or may soon be ill, to come here for treatment and do so with or without any disclosure until they succumb to the illness.

Making matters worse, we now have the ACLU telling States, Counties and cities that they shouldn’t use the only effective measure (21-day quarantine) to deal with travelers arriving in the U.S. from the African countries affected with the Ebola epidemic. In a recent court action supported by the ACLU, a Judge in Maine lifted the 21-day quarantine on Kaci Hicox, a nurse who was treating Ebola patients in Africa and recently returned to the U.S.

Each Ebola patient generates eight 55-gallon drums of hazardous waste daily - LA Times

Each Ebola patient generates eight 55-gallon drums of hazardous waste daily – LA Times

In the case of Mr. Duncan who suddenly quit his job in Liberia to come to the U.S., it has been alleged that he knew he was infected and came to the U.S. for treatment on his own. Assuming for the moment that we start getting more sick health care workers coming to America for treatment, how can anyone possibly assume we can deal with those cases here?

We all need to start asking why other modern, highly informed nations are closing their countries to any travelers originating from the countries in Africa that have Ebola raging. Canada is the most recent country to ban all travelers from Ebola areas.

In contrast to these other nations, we have a president who insists that we allow people who may or may not be infected into the U.S…. and seems to working to accelerate the importation of the infection by potentially bringing patients infected with Ebola here for treatment. We have already seen how that worked with Mr. Duncan, where two of the nurses tending to him who were wearing HAZMAT suits in one of our modern hospitals contracted Ebola. Treating Ebola, even in the most advanced centers is a very dangerous proposition at best.

Few people even realize that each patient generates eight 55-gallon drums of hazardous waste daily!

Imagine if hospitals around the U.S. had a mere 100 cases and the amount of highly contagious waste that would be generated during the course of two or three weeks? That’s about 17,000 fifty-five gallon drums of contagious waste. And we worry about the security of bio-weapons that are contained in high security facilities? Who will handle the security for these drums? The military?

Even one drum of this deadly waste represents a weapon of mass destruction in the wrong hands! Anyone with a college degree in science could figure out how to aerosolize the waste from one patient, and that would be enough to infect hundreds, even thousands of people in a crowed environment. And there are already hundreds of drums of this waste that are floating around from the Ebola patients that have already been treated right here in the U.S.

The bottom line is that the Obama administration is playing Russian Roulette and the gun is pointed at our heads. The media has been given its marching orders in regard to reporting on Ebola by the administration (‘don’t scare the people’)… but the People have an absolute right to the truth. Ebola has and will continue to mutate, and when there are as many cases as we have now in the world, the chances for a more deadly version of Ebola to manifest is enhanced.

The People of the United States deserve better than the politically-driven carelessness of the current administration. Call, write or email your local representatives and demand that they take proper and immediate precautions to protect American citizens, before it’s too late!

Cheers! Capt. Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

www.WilliameSimpson.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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MREs: Best Prepper Food or Waste of Money?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/03/mres-best-prepper-food-waste-money/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/03/mres-best-prepper-food-waste-money/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 11:00:57 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11823 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you are reading this article, I would imagine that you have never eaten an MRE before. Why do I say that? Well, for anyone who has eaten MREs you probably already have a strong opinion about them or at the very least, your experience might be based upon military service years ago. That is […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you are reading this article, I would imagine that you have never eaten an MRE before. Why do I say that? Well, for anyone who has eaten MREs you probably already have a strong opinion about them or at the very least, your experience might be based upon military service years ago. That is the perspective I was coming from when Meal Kit Supply approached me about reviewing their MREs that they produce. I had eaten more than my fair share of MREs when I was in the Army, but things have changed as you would expect with the passage of more years than I want to think about so I decided to take them up on the offer and while I was at it, share my opinion on what if any place MREs have in the food storage plan for preppers.

My military experience was let’s just say in the last century and MREs have gone through some pretty decent changes and updates since the time I was chowing down. For those who don’t know what an MRE is, the Acronym stands for Meal Ready to Eat and this is what is given to our soldiers when they aren’t near a mess hall. When I was in the field we would usually get an MRE for lunch. Breakfast and dinners would be a hot meal, or it started out as hot when we crowded around the mess tent or the insulated containers they drove out to us on the back of a jeep. By the time you got somewhere to eat your meal it was usually cold. We would only go to the field in the winter time naturally.

MREs at the time were pretty much like they are now, but the menus have improved and some minor details have made this meal in a bag much more palatable if you can believe that. I served before they had things like M&M’s or skittles for dessert and hot sauce to flavor your food. We also didn’t have a built-in heater like they do now. If you wanted your MRE warm you were limited only by your creativity. MRE food packets are foil so they are both waterproof and allow you to heat them on almost anything. We would use the heater vents in our trucks, lay them on our stoves in the tent or on the block of our engines.MREPackage

MREs come in boxes of 12 and each MRE is a different meal. You quickly learn which meals you like and which ones you don’t. If you were unfortunate enough to be the last one to the box you got what everyone else passed over. When I was in the service I think the worst meal was the beef patty. There are some similarities between the meals. They all come with an entrée, some side and a dessert. You get crackers and peanut butter or cheese, a condiment packet and usually a drink mix. We would even come up with our own names for meals that displayed our disdain for the contents. One meal, Meatballs with barbecue sauce was affectionately called ‘Meat nuts with Barf A Shoe’ sauce by myself and the guys in my unit. I am sure there are millions of other creative renames. I actually liked that MRE and I think it was pretty much my go-to meal as long as I could beat everyone to the box.

Meal Kit Supply sent me a box and I opened it up looking for some differences in the contents on the bag and searching for my old favorites because I was definitely getting the best MRE and I wouldn’t be stuck with the Beef patty. I was surprised at the options. For starters we didn’t have anything vegetarian when I was in the service, but this box had Vegetarian Ratatouille, Vegetarian Lasagna and Apple Maple Rolled Oats. Breakfast?? They also had the old standbys of Pork Sausage Patty and it looked like my Meatballs with Barbecue sauce was changed to Meatballs in Marinara sauce. That is what I decided to taste first.

What do MREs taste like?

Before I get into what the MREs from Meal Kit Supply tasted like, I wanted to set expectations here. Just like I have said in other reviews on long-term storable food similar to this. When you tear open a bag like this, you aren’t getting fresh ingredients from the garden prepared by a classically trained French chef. You are getting food that was designed for the military to pack enough calories in there to keep them alive, be waterproof, tolerate being mistreated and last for 5 years sitting in a warehouse most likely. If you are expecting Ruth’s Chris here or maybe even Golden Corral, you might be in for a surprise.

Everything in the bag.

Everything in the bag.

I opened my MRE and noticed that everything was still pretty much the same. You have food in foil packets although my packets weren’t in separate boxes. They did include the nutritional insert though and I never understood why they had the extra boxes anyway. Another thing we didn’t have when I was in was the handy ration heater. The ration heater is activated by placing a little water in a bag. The water mixes with an element and causes a chemical reaction that generates heat. You wrap your entrée in the bag,  and in 10 minutes you are supposed to have a hot meal. It didn’t work that way for me.

Everything you need plus a big long spoon to reach the bottom of the bag.

Everything you need plus a big long spoon to reach the bottom of the bag.

I followed the instructions or so I thought but my heater didn’t warm up. I waited the 10 minutes but finally decided to eat my meatballs cold. They weren’t bad at all, but I know they would have been so much better warm. My survival dog certainly loved the taste too when I gave her one of the small meatballs to taste. When I finished eating, I noticed that the warmer was finally getting warm so I placed my Au gratin potatoes in there. Yes, they had Au gratin potatoes and although they didn’t have the slightly burnt edges from being in the oven but they were cheesy and filling. They only needed a little salt and pepper to doctor them up. The heater worked just fine after-all.

The Ration Heater instructions say that it works best if you place a heavy object on the packet.

The Ration Heater instructions say that it works best if you place a heavy object on the packet.

So far so good. I broke out the crackers; literally because they came apart in my hands. This wasn’t the fault of the manufacturer I don’t think. I was just clumsy. Regardless, once I had my peanut butter on them they were great. I finished up with the dessert, Vanilla pudding which to prepare you needed to mix a little water in the bag and shake the bag for 60 seconds before it was ready. This was definitely good!

How do MRE’s fit into a Prepper Plan?

Any prepper plan has to take into consideration what food options will be best in various situations. Usually we recommend different types of food for different scenarios. If the power goes out you look for food that doesn’t need to be cooked. Canned tuna, MRE’s and snack bars fall into this category of course so do a lot of other foods. You want to store foods that your family will eat but there is also a need to have long-term storable food that you can take with you in a bug out bag. Frequently I will recommend freeze-dried foods for bug out bags, but those do require some preparation. For starters they need hot water or else you are eating rocks. MREs do not need water (except the pudding) and you don’t even need to heat them up.

My dog was a big fan of the Meatballs.

My dog was a big fan of the Meatballs.

There are some weight considerations in that MREs weigh more than freeze dried food but they do have their advantages. I have a few boxes stored as part of my food storage plan because they are an easy way to get the calories you need for survival. I also have food stored in buckets, canned food and freeze-dried food. I am an equal opportunity food storage person and there is something to be said for having variety. Are MREs the the best prepper food? I don’t think there is ever a single best food for all prepper situations, but MREs are proven reliable. If our military uses them you can bet that you could find reasons to use them too. They are more expensive than other options but you don’t have to prepare anything, they even throw in the salt, pepper and a little moist towelette to wipe your face and hands when you are done. They used to come with toilet paper and chewing gum but apparently that is not part of these MREs.

The MREs from Meal Kit Supply tasted better than the food I ate many years ago so I am happy to recommend them to anyone looking for an MRE supplier. You can get a box of 12 MRE’s yourself from Meal Kit Supply and try them out or just place them aside for an emergency. MRE’s are another good food option that will store for a long time and could save your life.

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What’s Wrong with FEMA’s Plan for You?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/01/whats-wrong-femas-plan/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/11/01/whats-wrong-femas-plan/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 10:00:19 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11809 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

With a budget of almost 14 Billion dollars in 2013, you would expect that FEMA would have the resources at its disposal to really be able to assist the public prior to any disaster. If you haven’t already; I recommend going out to the FEMA website to see what their recommendations are for getting prepared. […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

With a budget of almost 14 Billion dollars in 2013, you would expect that FEMA would have the resources at its disposal to really be able to assist the public prior to any disaster. If you haven’t already; I recommend going out to the FEMA website to see what their recommendations are for getting prepared. FEMA, through their Ready.gov website is the government’s office that addresses most of the specific topics of the prepper movement so I was surprised at the information I found on their site. Actually, I wasn’t completely surprised because I did write about National Preparedness Month and how I believed that as an agency their communications left me completely underwhelmed.

Regardless, I went out again today with fresh eyes to see what I could learn from FEMA. I say that because I truly believe that our government should have the smartest people in our country in positions like this, right? I mean if you are an agency that deals with disaster you need to have the top disaster experts in the world giving out advice, right?

FEMA breaks the topics on their website down into a few categories to start with:

  • Be Informed – This is where FEMA says you can “Learn what protective measures to take before, during and after an emergency”.
  • Make a Plan – “Prepare Plan and stay Informed for Emergencies”
  • Build A Kit – “Build a kit for disasters to be prepared.”

So at first glance this seems like a good start. I went under “Be Informed” to learn what protective measures I could take and decided to start with pandemic. The first thing to notice is that they mention influenza pandemic and I didn’t see anything about Ebola, but let’s just assume that anything bad enough to spawn a Pandemic would be covered by FEMA. They mention having a two week supply of food and water, plenty of prescription drugs, copies of your health records and to talk with family members about how they should be cared for if they get sick. Lastly they ask you to volunteer and get involved.

During an actual Pandemic (this is the page that FEMA has for Pandemic information) they recommend avoiding close contact with people who are sick (Really??) staying home from work if possible and the usual suspects of covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and washing your hands.

A pandemic by definition is when a disease is prevalent throughout an entire country, continent or the whole world. I am going to add my own addendum that there must be a relatively high loss of life. With that definition, the only other pandemic any living person has seen (I don’t count AIDs or SARS) was the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 that killed an estimated 30 to 50 million people in two years. In the United States alone over 675,000 people died in two years!! When FEMA is supposed to be informing you about what to do for a Pandemic that is the best they can do?!!!

Lists of phone numbers does not prepare you for a disaster

Maybe I am over reacting and this is sound advice? Perhaps, but look at Ebola where they say you are contagious for up to 21 days. If you are supposed to stay indoors for three weeks, you would be mighty hungry that last week if you only stored two weeks of food wouldn’t you? The World Health Organization states that people with Ebola can still transmit the disease though semen for up to 7 weeks after they have recovered. Is it possible that a two week plan might leave you seriously under prepared for the next pandemic?

Obviously I take issue with the plans FEMA seems to have for sheltering in place should that be necessary during a pandemic so I went over to their Make A Plan page and then down to the Plan to Protect yourself and your family link. The page seems worthless to me and the most prominent item on the page is a link to download their Family Communication Plan which is really just a sheet for you to write down phone numbers, a meeting place and medical insurance information. I don’t see how this is a realistic plan. Phone numbers are helpful I guess and having your dentist’s phone number would be a good thing if you are having a tooth emergency but I expected more again from FEMA.

A family survival plan is more than just simply writing down phone numbers and being truly prepared requires more than two weeks of food; especially during a pandemic. FEMA it seems has always recommended the most basic information and supplies that anyone probably already has on hand. Is this preparing or are they trying to cater to our lazy side? Is this the lazy person’s way to prepare? Just write down some phone numbers that won’t help you at all and keep the regular amount of food you probably already have on hand and no worries! But while you’re at it, FEMA does recommend some social messaging shout outs you can use.

FEMA doesn’t have a plan for you

You can go lots of places on FEMA’s website and there is some good advice, but on balance I get the sense that either FEMA is trying to lower everyone’s expectations for any real disaster to the point of leaving millions under prepared or they are simply out of touch with reality. I know people who have been without power for longer than two weeks in the winter and this wasn’t considered a disaster by any stretch. When we imagine disaster, it will probably take FEMA two weeks just to get out and do anything if you are foolish enough to believe that you only have to hold out until they get there. Once FEMA does arrive, they are no magic savior. Remember Hurricane Sandy when the FEMA office closed? They actually had the mental sharpness to hang up signs informing the public, who presumably was going to the offices for assistance, that they were closed “due to the weather”. You can’t rely on anyone else in a disaster so it’s important that you take the responsibility for your life and the lives of those you care about into your own hands.

FEMA doesn't want to get out in the storm to help you.

FEMA doesn’t want to get out in the storm to help you.

So what are my solutions since I seem to know everything? First thing is that will admit that I don’t know everything but I don’t believe there are any one size fits all plans for preppers. You can’t just say store 2 weeks of food and think that will do for just about any disaster. Everyone has to have their own plan that has been carefully structured based upon the needs, resources and skills of your family/group with a strategic consideration of the potential threats you face. Here’s my take on FEMA’s 3 points.

  • Be Informed – Make sure you know what is going on in your home, city, region, state and country. Staying informed doesn’t have anything to do with sports scores, reality TV or what the latest star is doing that has gotten her in trouble. Being informed is knowing what is going on around you (situational awareness) and what is going on that could affect you. Learn as much as you can right now about different ideas and perspectives. I like to think we cover a lot of bases on the Prepper Journal, but there are dozens of other sites out there that offer a ton of great information too. Check out our prepper resources section for a second opinion on practically anything related to prepping or survival.
  • Make a Plan – Once you have considered who you are prepping for, it then makes sense to ask what are you prepping for. Once you have the answers to those two questions you can start working on a plan that will work for you personally, that addresses the needs of your family with regard to the threats you have identified. Your plan won’t look like mine, but there might be similarities. What works for you might not work for a single mother in the city.
  • Build A Kit – I don’t think the normal supplies I would consider for someone to be adequately prepared would fit into anything I would call a “kit”. A kit sounds like a box that sits in the closet. If you want to be prepared you will need to begin stocking up on supplies and that means different things to different people. There are lots of bases to cover but the most important begin with food, water, shelter and security.

Food

Water

Shelter

Security

Make your plan to fit your family, to take into consideration where you live and what you are dealing with. You will make better choices than any bureaucracy and your family will be better off with you than at any FEMA shelter regardless of the disaster. FEMA doesn’t have a plan for you. They have a plan to maintain order for the masses and hopefully prevent chaos. You are the only one that is going to keep your family’s needs in the front of your focus. Take steps now to ensure you aren’t living with FEMA’s idea of what is important.

What’s your plan?

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America’s Condemned Cities: Dark Breeding Grounds For Pestilence & Crimehttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/31/americas-condemned-cities-dark-breeding-grounds-pestilence-crime/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/31/americas-condemned-cities-dark-breeding-grounds-pestilence-crime/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:32:19 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11800 Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Imagine a place in your city where there are thousands of dark abandoned homes and buildings that are devoid of utilities such as water, sewer and electricity. A place infested with rats and much worse. A place where the criminals and the outcasts of a society in decline have accumulated; a place where evil is […]

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Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Imagine a place in your city where there are thousands of dark abandoned homes and buildings that are devoid of utilities such as water, sewer and electricity. A place infested with rats and much worse. A place where the criminals and the outcasts of a society in decline have accumulated; a place where evil is festering. As we enter this realm of sinister darkness, our senses are overwhelmed by the odors of rotting garbage and worse; toilets without water have been used and are overflowing. The sounds of shadowy figures are heard as they move away in the distance accompanied by the sounds of glass breaking and tin cans being kicked aside. As we enter into one of the antechambers our flashlight reveals a gruesome sight; the skeletal remains of a human lay in the corner of a room littered with garbage and an old mattress.

Sounds like the beginning of a horror story right? Well it’s not; it could be the description of an area of abandoned homes and buildings that exist within many of today’s so-called modern cities across America. In fact, the actual skeletal remains of a woman who was the victim of a sinister serial killer was recently discovered in a place similar to the narrative I have provided above.

As I sifted through the news of the day, I came across an Associated Press story that outlined a shocking fact:

There are tens of thousands of abandoned buildings and homes in the big cities of America, and these abandoned structures have become the operational bases of the outcasts of our society and others, possibly much worse. The AP article cites the number of abandoned homes and buildings in just Gary Indiana as “10,000” and in Chicago Illinois as “15,000”.

If you consider that these are the statistics for just two of the multitude of cities in America, it’s clear that the total number of abandoned buildings and homes across America may be in the hundreds of thousands. The occupants of these ‘dark cities’ could number even higher.

LAP_04_Tunnel_94_Bernard_Xmas

As we consider these dark places that have remained out of sight and therefore out of mind, we must now consider the potential serious problems that could arise from these dark realms, ‘cities’ within cities that are clearly the breeding grounds for evil.

Even with a minimal amount of imagination it’s not hard to conceive that these ‘dark cities’ could easily become (or already may be) the spawning grounds for the next great plague, only this time it may strike-down America instead of Europe as it did in the dark ages. Imagine for instance the Ebola virus spreading unchecked and untreated in these ‘dark cities’.

It’s not hard to imagine some criminal or terrorist who may be infected with some deadly, highly contagious disease, sneaking over the Mexican-U.S. border and making his way into one of these bastions of inequity. And once there, having the illness manifest and infect the occupants of these dark cities, which may number in the tens of thousands or more. In these ‘dark cities’ there are no medical services and the occupants thereof are not inclined to seek help outside their realm.

As these dark cities and their populations grow in numbers, our current illustrious administration would have us all believe that America is “prospering”, when in fact it is in serious decline.

IMG_2603

Many of these ‘dark cities’ are so dangerous that the police won’t enter them, and are having great difficulties even holding things together on the outskirts of these ‘dark cities’.

Here are just some of the photos (where the photographer felt safe enough to film during daylight) of Detroit today:

So is America prospering and is America safer as the current administration would have us believe? The facts seem to have us conclude otherwise. America has never seen this kind of internal malaise before; America seems to be rotting from the inside-out.

Knowing and understanding what’s happening is the first step towards making a change for the better. American’s who are concerned about the future and about their families have some real work to do. The first thing is to do the homework and get educated on who, among us is qualified morally to lead others, and help them get elected into political positions where they can do some good. People with experience but who lack moral fiber are not, and have not helped the situation.

Secondly; get prepared! Things in America may get a lot worse than they are, and if you’re not prepared, then you may run the risk of becoming a casualty.

Cheers! Capt. Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

www.WilliameSimpson.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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Survive and Conquer: A Newbie’s Guide to Surviving the Wildhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/30/survive-conquer-newbies-guide-surviving-the-wild/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/30/survive-conquer-newbies-guide-surviving-the-wild/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:00:33 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11786 Written by John Anderson on The Prepper Journal.

Though we all want to live, most of us do not have the skills to conquer a world where the adage “Survival of the Fittest” is a daily task. We have been too complacent with the idea of comfort that a slight inconvenience is enough to make us jump, be depressed, or worse, find ourselves […]

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Written by John Anderson on The Prepper Journal.

Though we all want to live, most of us do not have the skills to conquer a world where the adage “Survival of the Fittest” is a daily task. We have been too complacent with the idea of comfort that a slight inconvenience is enough to make us jump, be depressed, or worse, find ourselves in a life-threatening encounter. A single power outage or a couple of days of being submerged in murky flood water is enough to send us into a sphere where we fear for our own lives. How will we react and retaliate should we find ourselves in the wild with nothing but our guts and our survival know-how’s?

As uncertainties that are man-made and natural come more and more often, even newbies in the game of prepping can take considerable strides in building their survival strategies. In the wild, a small misstep or miscalculation is enough to cause you to lose your life in a matter of seconds. More importantly, studies have shown that more than incurring accidents, deaths in the wild are often caused by lack of information, preparedness, and proper execution. Even the U.S. Military adheres to the notion that surviving the wild is a decision; meaning it is bound by consistent sets of going with the best survivalist options.

Camp out and swim about

Begin befriending the wild by setting up a camp trip or a hike with your family, friends, or even a group of people you barely know. This way, you get a firsthand experience about going beyond the comforts of your home. Do your research about this trip, and plan your essentials with the least possible items so that you will be able to move more easily and faster, too. Aim to house all the things you need in a carry-all, waterproof backpack. While you may not realize it, being outdoors is way better than reading mountains of books and sources in the survivalist game. Before setting out, get to take a number of laps in your pool or a nearby body of water. The ability to swim is a newbie survivalist’s skill that can spell doom or boom in this game.

Pack wax for building a fire fast

Fire is scientifically proven to give off a sense of security and safety, so you would have to master the manner by which you can build it fast. Waterproof matches are widely available, however, you still need something else to build fire to keep you warm, and to be able to cook food and boil water. An easy way to make this feat possible is by toting cotton pads dipped in wax or filling Altoid tins with cardboard and wax. Apart from being an emergency light source, it could also ward off animals in the wild that may lurk in your territory.

Firestarters

The ability to make fire cannot be overemphasized.

Hold that high-proof alcoholic drink

More than an enjoyable drink should disaster strike, an alcoholic drink above 90-proof is highly flammable and a favorable ally in sterilizing cuts or wounds. It may even be used as a bug repellant, an anesthetic to toothache, a facial astringent, and relieves sting from poison ivy. To ensure that your alcohol supply will serve its purpose, store them in a cool, dark place. Make sure that you don’t open them as it will lose its strength after six to eight months.

Counter hypothermia with bubble wrap blanket

Instead of lugging three cotton blankets for insulation, score a bubble wrap with the size of a blanket. The air bubbles that makes up this household packing material has been proven to insulate a person better by up to 70% more than thick blankets. Hypothermia is very likely to happen when you’re in the middle of a cold, usually open area. Not being able to address this readily and properly will result in loss of consciousness, and may even lead to death, before you know it.

Power up an AA battery compartment with AAA batteries

Disasters usually bring power outage, and you would have to rely on battery-powered radios and emergency lamps. Should you run out of AA batteries, you can simply stick aluminum foil that is rolled into balls to fill the gaps left by AAA batteries.

63 one-gallon bottles of water can save a group weighing 500 pounds

While you still have time, perfect your skill in building a raft out of empty water bottles. Make sure that the bottles have the same size so that they fit well together. It is important that you determine the number of people who are going to be on the raft for this to be successful. The rule of thumb is that you would need a single bottle that houses one gallon for every 8 pounds.  For a group of individuals with a collective weight of 500 pounds, for instance, you would need to get hold of about 63 one-gallon bottles with lids tightly placed.

Plan how you will use the bottles by keeping in mind that you need to have 3 or four layers to build a raft. The base should be widest and must be secured with waterproof tape horizontally and vertically. The other layers should be slightly smaller so that the raft will stay afloat. Once done, try it out on a pool or a body of water.

Defend yourself with your house keys

While it is highly advisable that you formally learn self-defense through martial arts or even holding a gun, a lot of people either have no time or find it unnecessary to learn these survival drills. Adults, children and even elderly family members can put house keys in their fists as they get ready for a possible attack once disaster and unrest kicks in. Other household self-defense items are scissors and pepper sprays from your trusted alarm system store. Arming yourself without arousing suspicion is a must in surviving the wild. You surely don’t want uncalled for attention as you plan your evacuation, or head out to your secret destination, right?

Watch out for dogs gone wild more than venomous snakes and other animal attacks

Having to figure out a way to escape a snake is one stereotypical scene in the survival game. Snake bites from venom comprise of 7,000 to 8,000 medical incidences yearly. A sting from a box jellyfish on the other hand, can cause fatal cardiac arrest when left untreated. If you think slathering insect repellant is a task you can do away with, think again. Bug lotion actually decreases your chances of being one of the 200+ million malaria victims, annually. The most surprising numbers though in animal attack department comes from the staggering 4.5 million cases that account for dog bites in the U.S. on yearly basis.

DogPrints

You don’t only have to worry about two-legged predators.

Bleach and condoms can secure your water supply

78% of the human body is composed of water; hence you must prioritize this in your ride with the wild side. Should you be in the middle of nowhere and happen to fish a condom out of your bag or pocket, consider yourself lucky. A single condom can hold one-day supply of water. Seek water from springs and even collecting morning dew found in grass. Following grazing animals near dusk and dawn are also ways to get to a place where you can get decent water.

If you are still packing your bug-out pack, bring household bleach with you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you can purify water with using a couple of drops of bleach. Before re-hydration, let the water sit for about 30 minutes to ensure that the bleach has dispersed well.

Want more protein? Try insects

Crazy as it may sound, edible insects are packed with 65-80% protein – a far cry from the 20% protein requirement that beef can give. Not bad for 4 species for every 1 human being, right? If you can go past your food preferences, you’d have more than your fill since insects are easier to hunt and locate. For those who are convinced, a good way to jump-start this emergency food plan is to get your palette acquainted with exotic food finds that have bugs in them. Critters, scorpions and even ants are some of the popular tummy-friendly food choices you can befriend and hopefully, love.

Go for to-go food to set your “Survive and Conquer” mood

Truth be told, food is one thing that even seasoned preppers worry about and seriously work for. While the protein-content of insects sounds inviting, we cannot seem to find the strength and motivation to dig into them. For newbie (and even seasoned) preppers, compact backpacks packed with an ample, generously portioned food kits is a practical, and highly manageable way to be able to survive and conquer the wild. Food not only replenishes the energy we need to run around and stay on top of the game. A totable food storage guarantees a newbie survivalist that while s/he may have to go unimaginable lengths to make it to another day, s/he can find a little time for comfort, and a tiny window to let the stress subside. By seeking the aid of survival food kits, novice preppers would be able to focus more on getting their safety gears in place rather than having to be overwhelmed, and left hanging with the long list of a survivalist’s concerns.

Live the ‘Survive and Conquer’ lifestyle, one day at a time

Being a prepper is no longer confined to people who are building larger than life underground shelters, or those who seriously secure their food storage that will last for more than two decades. Even newbies are now getting the hang of being a prepper as it is transforming into a lifestyle and a necessity; rather than an idea that is far-flung and overrated. These really easy and handy tips that novice preppers can look into and learn from in order to increase their chances of making it through the world of the wild. As newbies, it is best to start with the most basic and most familiar prepping lessons that will make your survival story a more attainable reality.

 

Image Credits:

  1. Alone 5/10 : Kiliii Fish
  2. Who was tracking who? : Viewminder

 

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Where’s Paul Revere When You Need Him?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/29/wheres-paul-revere-need/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/29/wheres-paul-revere-need/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:19:53 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11769 Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Over the course of the past 100 years there have been many fundamental changes affecting our society that have crept-in over time, so that they largely go unnoticed to those people who are not paying very close attention to history. And it’s our past that is critical in guiding our future… after all, who wants […]

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Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Over the course of the past 100 years there have been many fundamental changes affecting our society that have crept-in over time, so that they largely go unnoticed to those people who are not paying very close attention to history. And it’s our past that is critical in guiding our future… after all, who wants to keep making the same mistakes over and over? What has changed is that an elite-class of ultra-wealthy people are now actually running the show here in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, where they are directly and indirectly responsible for the changes that have occurred.

The ‘people’ that I am referring to are not your ‘garden variety’ millionaires; no, these people could buy and sell Internet millionaires like bags of groceries. As a ‘class’ of individuals, these people directly and indirectly own and control hundreds of corporations, including having interests in the Federal Reserve Bank, which is no more ‘Federal’ than the Federal Express.

In the U.S. we consider ourselves technologically advanced; but at what cost? Isn’t it true that for the first time in the history of our Country, Americans are fed a daily stream of ‘information’ that most people accept at face value, without question? How many people actually have the time to check and verify the details of what the various media outlets (TV, Cable, Radio, Internet) are sending into our conscious and unconscious minds? The truth is; very few people actually have the time to dig into details, which in many cases are difficult to find and analyze. How many people have the training and understanding of psychology required to assess the impact of the ubiquitous 24/7 stream of influences that are targeting all of our available senses.

Ever wonder why the greatest wise men and philosophers throughout history would take time away from the masses and go into isolation? …. Sort of a multimedia blackout. The problem with propaganda is that if it gets heard and repeated enough, it becomes the ‘known truth’, even if it may be false. There was a time when the vast majority of people on the planet believed the earth was flat. And even though a few men knew that was not true, and they hesitated disclosing the truth in fear of being ostracized. Nothing has changed today… there are people who know the truth, but having seen how the masses over history respond to the ‘truth’, which may disrupt the status-quo (socially and politically), truths are for the most part, kept under wraps, or stifled by the social-pressure that is prevalent as a result of well ‘designed’ media messaging to the masses.

Today, we are all faced by the fact that we have a government that actually controls us; we no longer have any control or affect over the government, which curiously we ‘elect’, creating the illusion of control for us. Try reaching one your own elected officials and you’ll quickly find out how unimportant you really are to them. Of course during elections, many politicians will assume the ‘act’ of being your best friend.

Back when the United States was a nation of the People, the class of ‘ultra-wealthy elite’ had very little control over the men who founded these United States on ‘moral values’ based upon the fact that they believed they were accountable only to God, having recently escaped the control of the Lords of Europe. Back then, people meant what they said, and slogans like; ‘In God We Trust’ and ‘No Taxation Without Representation’ actually had significant meaning to all of the People of this land.

Today we live in world that is turned on its head; the people who don’t believe in God want to remove all references to God in ‘their’ world even if it deprives others of their religious freedoms. Freedom of speech is tolerated as long as you don’t disagree and as long as it doesn’t offend anyone. We are taxed to the extent that the majority of working American’s are now living from pay-check to pay-check, feeling like indentured slaves to a Government where for all intents and purposes, ‘We The People’ no longer have any effective representation in the government. As soon as the majority of elected officials take office, they begin doing the bidding for the people with all the money; the ‘ultra-wealthy elite’.

Today, the average person doesn’t stand a chance against the ‘system’ that is now firmly in place, and which has been designed and carefully implemented by the class of ultra-wealthy elitists. Again, I am not referring to the people who you may know that are millionaires… I am speaking of men and women who are thousands of times more wealthy and who own the controlling interests in dozens upon dozens of corporations across the globe. These ‘people’ are all about the money and their unseen lifestyles. The people you may have seen showcased on the TV shows like ‘The Rich & The Famous’ are miniscule ‘small time’ players by comparison.

Edward Bernays - the father of public relations. Author of 'Propaganda'

Edward Bernays – the father of public relations. Author of ‘Propaganda’

Some people refer to this ultra-class of elites as the ‘Illuminati’… Quite frankly, while that term serves to conjure some great conspiracy theories, it’s not that complicated. This class of people are only looking to make even more money so they can engage in their games of one-ups-man ship with their peers. The saying in these circles is; ‘too much is not nearly enough’. These people are actually easy to understand if you think like a corporate CEO. Everything they do is about increasing their money and assets; it is the life-blood of their existence and in most case their sole joy in life.

So what does all this have to do with us, you might ask? Simple, as it was in the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs, we are the slaves who make the bricks and tend to their herds of cattle and do a host of other things that they require to enjoy their obscenely decadent lifestyles.

Just 100 years ago in America, most Americans actually worked for themselves. Corporations had not come into their own, yet. If you were the local blacksmith, and I was a rancher (because I truly enjoyed it), I could trade you two dozen eggs to have my plow or wagon fixed. And a farmer could trade a bushel of corn for two dozen chickens, and so forth. Life was based upon pursuing your own life’s dreams and endeavors and there were only a few if any middlemen in most daily transactions. Today, life has changed dramatically, and what’s sad is that few people even realize that it has changed for the worse. The teams of psychologists and social media experts who design the ‘messaging manna’ for the masses (AKA: TV, radio and Internet ads and other propaganda) know how to manipulate most people beyond belief, after all, that is their job. Frankly, it’s so effective that most people don’t even realize they are being manipulated! If they want you to buy a certain car, they design an advertising message complete with visuals that appeals to the standards that have been implanted into your consciousness over time. You see it all the time all around you. For example, some vehicles create a facade of wealth (even when it’s leased or being bought with payments)… we have all seen the Mercedes or Cadillac parked outside a dilapidated home or apartment. Are we now so self-deluded as individuals that we are ‘fulfilled’ by making other people ‘think’ we are rich? Have we become so confused and misled as people that mere ‘illusions’ are now the sustenance of our lives?

You are given the illusion of freedom and of self-choice, but in reality, you are programed from the time you are a child to be a slave (you can’t even leave the U.S. legally without a Passport!). Just look around at all the media inputs into your life. Even the school systems are now part of the ‘designed’ programming, where the schools no longer teach kids and people ‘how to think’ as they did in the past, instead they now teach you ‘what to think’! The introduction of the program known as ‘Common Core’ into our school systems is the last step in a complete program designed to turn-out a new class of modern slaves for the ultra-elite; the new-age Pharaohs. The goal is to develop a new class of working people will actually believe what they are told, regardless of what the truth is, and will do what they are told.

So far, robots who can function in as many capacities as humans are far too cost prohibitive as the laborers needed for the thousands of corporations that are part of assets of the elitists. So, as any good CEO would do, you find a way to gain what you need in a cost-effective manner. Why not make humans into a type of robot? Some people might argue that it cannot be done. However, when you look at the freeways every morning and afternoon, and see the angst that people are feeling, it clear they aren’t doing what ‘they’ want to do… they are ‘under the control of others’. People are fooled into thinking they are working for themselves and their family, but when you do some real soul searching (for those who still have one to search), you quickly realize that you are not following your own path as true human being.

Today Americans are being financially squeezed into taking jobs that are far from ‘fulfilling’, and no matter how you try to rationalize the situation, it stinks. Our government is doing nothing to help the American citizens that have elected it, and that’s not how it is supposed to work according to the U.S. Constitution. Instead, we see a lawless corrupt government that has made life worse for working Americans by opening our borders to anyone who essentially wants to walk across and take a job working for less than an American who is a legal citizen, and at time when jobs are scarce. Of course who benefits from this? The answer is simple… just follow the money… the recent influx of millions of illegal immigrants into the U.S. clearly benefits the ultra-elite who want cheaper labor right here in the U.S.

If you can build a product here in the U.S. for the same price as in China, the shipping costs and import duties suddenly drop to the bottom-line as a ‘profit’.

So what can we do? Are we all just screwed? In the current ‘politically correct’ environment’ where we now find ourselves, it’s hard to find a leader who is tough enough to take the situation in hand and make the changes that would actually benefit Americans. Many politicians are so busy trying to kiss everyone’s backsides and appeal to all potential voters that they are in the end merely diluted-down and meaningless, full of weak compromises and no real solutions. Americans need people who will take a stand and stick to their principles.

As voters during this election, we are now taxed with the job of finding and recruiting some tough men and women who will stay the course for Americans once elected. We need patriotic heroes as our elected politicians now more than ever; let’s replace all of the crooked kiss-ass lawyers who are currently in power who represent the elitists instead of Americans.

Cheers! Capt. Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

www.WilliameSimpson.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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You Won’t Get to Pick the Disasterhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/28/wont-get-pick-disaster/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/28/wont-get-pick-disaster/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:46:19 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11753 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

For all its faults, I still really enjoyed watching Doomsday Preppers from National Geographic. No matter how bizarrely the antics of the preppers who appeared on this show actually were or (in most cases I believe) were framed to heighten the entertainment factor; I was able to pull information from each episode. Each prepper was […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

For all its faults, I still really enjoyed watching Doomsday Preppers from National Geographic. No matter how bizarrely the antics of the preppers who appeared on this show actually were or (in most cases I believe) were framed to heighten the entertainment factor; I was able to pull information from each episode. Each prepper was engaged in more or less what I strive to do every day, but with different resources, approaches and rationale. I really only had two complaints with the show and these are admittedly superficial but tainted the overall experience for some people I think. The first was the ratings which improved over time and then were eventually dropped I think this past season. The second was that each prepper had to state what it was they were prepping for as if anything else were to happen outside of their stated concern they wouldn’t know what to do or the preparations they had made to date would be invalid.

The list of items that these preppers had as their reason for prepping wasn’t as unique as I expected but you did get a little variety in there. I think that most of the shows I saw showcased the preppers as preparing for Economic Collapse, but there were a lot of these self-described survivalists who were worried about violent weather, EMP, nuclear war or meltdown of power plants, pandemics, or terrorist attacks. The small minority were theorizing that we would have the Yellowstone super volcano eruption or that the poles would shift.

What are you prepping for?

I probably wouldn’t have been a good candidate for a prepper on Doomsday Preppers for a lot of reasons not the least of which is that I would never go on any show like that, but aside from that detail I don’t have a bunker, I have not purchased an abandoned missile silo (although that would be pretty neat) and I don’t live out in the boonies in a cabin. I also don’t have the resources that a lot of these preppers seem to have to buy tons of gear, create my own apocalypse bus or tank and I personally am not prepping for one specific thing. If Doomsday Preppers asked me what I am prepping for I would have to say I am prepping for anything.

It isn’t that I am like Chicken Little and believe that doom is lurking around every corner but I approach prepping from the standpoint that you need several basic items to live no matter what disaster happens. I think that viewing your prepping strategy from this standpoint will allow you to prepare for more and be more broadly prepared than someone who is just prepping for a single event. I have said this before in other ways but I think the concept is valuable to preppers as they start the process of prepping.

For example, Ebola has been in the news for the last several weeks and anytime there is a perceived crisis like this search engine traffic from people who are looking into the topics of survival and searching for information on how they can be prepared starts to increase at the Prepper Journal. It makes sense that there is more interest because the news didn’t stop talking about the Ebola patient for weeks and then we migrated into the possibility of self-quarantine as the option for people to avoid the disease. Naturally we tried to cover some of these topics on the Prepper Journal as well.

But what about the people who view Ebola as the “Big Thing” they are prepping for? Is it possible that some of these people who were going about their lives happy as a clam before patient zero was found in Dallas but who were momentarily focused like a laser on how to survive Ebola are looking at this all wrong? Could it be that in the rush to prepare for this single potential disaster of an Ebola pandemic that they were missing the bigger picture?

Are you a well-rounded Prepper?

For years I have been prepping for all sorts of different events. If I am being honest I think the most likely man made event could be some form of economic collapse and I am by no stretch alone in that thought. However, what if we don’t have an economic collapse? Will all of my prepping supplies be wasted? Will the time and energy I invested be foolish? Will my family finally get to laugh at me and talk about how silly I was to have Bug Out Bags for all of them or enough food and water to keep my family alive for 6 months?

My family might get to laugh and that is honestly my hope when all is said and done, but I still don’t think that if nothing happens, anything I have done was a waste. I am prepping because I want to take care of my family and that boils down to providing for their needs in a survival situation. It may not be an economic collapse and in reality they might not be in a survival situation necessarily to take advantage of the preparations I have made. It could be a simple winter storm that knocks power out for days. Could we survive a blackout with no preps? Probably, but would we be better off with the backup power we have? Would they be warmer with the alternate sources of heat I have set aside? Would they feel safer with some of the security provisions I have made?

I believe the smarter strategy is to plan to survive regardless of the disaster because we don’t really get a vote. I might not be planning for a flood because I don’t live in a flood plain, but what if some ridiculous weather event caused our town to become flooded? Do you think I would sit back and tell my family too bad? This wasn’t the disaster I had planned for? Maybe I could fashion life preservers from all of the N95 masks and Nitrile gloves we stocked for Ebola?

Five minutes before prom is not the time to learn how to dance.

Call it prepping tunnel vision. I think that is what some people get into without knowing it. If you consume yourself with the most logical threat on your threat matrix you could miss the snowball rolling down the hill that will kill you. I know that some people who for example live near a nuclear power plant are planning for a meltdown, but what if that doesn’t happen and what you are really faced with is a pandemic? Sure the plant could eventually meltdown, but you might have more to worry about in the short-term from a tiny virus than that big nuclear plant.

Reacting to news events is normal and part of me does the same thing to some degree. I use these events in the news to spur me to action, but it isn’t like I haven’t been prepping all along. I might re-inventory my stocks, but the next crisis isn’t making me go out to the store to begin working on my food storage plan. The next threat of social unrest won’t prompt me to think about securing my home or defending it. I guess what I am trying to say is keep your eyes on the larger goal of keeping you and your family alive regardless of the crisis that appears. No matter what you think could happen, you need to be prepared for what does happen and no amount of planning for specific disasters will work as well as a broad-based plan for survival regardless of the disaster. Plan for surprises because you and I both might be surprised at what eventually happens. Will your preps keep you alive no matter what?

The post You Won’t Get to Pick the Disaster appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

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